Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

03 December 2017 / By Andrea

What to expect

During partial knee surgery, Dr. Berger creates a small, 3- to 4-inch incision directly over the knee to reveal the end of the thigh bone, the top of the shin bone, and the back of the knee cap: the arthritic knee. He begins by removing the section of the thigh bone affected by arthritis, leaving the healthy side of the knee untouched. He uses special shaping guides as he removes the arthritic bone to ensure the prosthesis fits securely. Dr. Berger then removes the arthritic bone from the affected side of the top of the shin bone. Afterwards, he carefully removes any bone spurs or scar tissue that may have formed around the knee joint as a result of the arthritis.

Once the arthritic bone has been removed, Dr. Berger uses sizer pieces that range in increments of millimeters to measure the patient’s bone and determine the perfect-fit prosthesis. When he is confident he has the optimal size, he secures the first part of the prosthesis to the end of the thigh bone using cement. The second part of the prosthesis is cemented to the top of the shin bone. He then snaps a polyethylene liner to the top of the shin bone component. This liner acts as cartilage and facilitates smooth and fluid movement. The final piece of the prosthesis is a polyethylene liner that is cemented to the back of the knee cap.

Once all prosthesis pieces are in place, Dr. Berger tests the patient’s range of motion by manually straightening and bending the patient’s knee. He finishes the surgery by cleansing the inside of the knee with an antibiotic wash to prevent infection, and then sews up the incision. On average, the whole process takes just over an hour.

After surgery, the patient is sent to a recovery room and then to a hospital room. A few hours after surgery, the patient is examined by one of Dr. Berger’s nurses. The nurse will have the patient walk down the hospital hallway and climb and descend one flight of stairs. Once the patient has been thoroughly examined and all questions have been answered, the patient is discharged from the hospital the same day of surgery.

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