16:26 PM

What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery: Treatments and Recovery

U.S. News & World Report discusses total and partial knee replacement surgeries and typical candidates for each according to experts including Seth A. Jerabek, MD, hip and knee surgeon and co-medical director at HSS Westchester.

Dr. Jerabek explained that over time, knee cartilage can deteriorate, “Cartilage doesn’t have nerve endings, so the loss of cartilage doesn’t hurt. But that changes when the bones touch.”

Cartilage loss can lead to disabling pain, stiffness and inflammation and a total knee replacement might help.

For a total knee replacement, according to Dr. Jerabek, “When you cut off the top of the tibia, you have to sacrifice the anterior cruciate ligament in the center of the knee. He added, “The implant then makes up for the ACL to stabilize the joint. But really, there’s no way to make it perform like an ACL, so it can be harder after knee replacement to pivot and twist in activities like soccer or basketball."

If cartilage is limited to one part of the knee, a person might be a good candidate for partial knee replacement. “The most common (scenario) is arthritis isolated to the inside or medial compartment. Those patients do well with partial knee replacements,” Dr. Jerabek noted.

He added, “The potential problem with a partial knee replacement is that you can still get arthritis in the other knee compartments that weren’t replaced, so a lot of people jump right to the total replacement.”

Dr. Jerabek noted, “For a total knee replacement, most people are in formal physical therapy for three months. For partial knees, you bounce back twice as fast, because we’ve removed less bone and kept all of the ligaments and we didn’t have to dislocate the tibia from underneath the femur.”

Read the full article at Usnews.com.