Total Unicondyle Knee Replacement

If your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, it may be hard for you to perform simple activities such as walking or climbing stairs. You may even begin to feel pain while you are sitting or lying down.

If medications, changing your activity level, and using walking supports are no longer helpful, you may want to consider total knee replacement surgery. By resurfacing the damaged and worn surfaces of the knee can relieve pain, correct leg deformity and help resume normal activities.

Advantages Of Total Unicondyle Knee Replacement

Reasons that you may benefit from total knee replacement commonly include:

  • Severe knee pain that limits your everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. You may find it hard to walk more than a few blocks without significant pain and you may need to use a cane or walker.
  • Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, either day or night
  • Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
  • Knee deformity: a bowing in or out of your knee
  • Knee stiffness: inability to bend and straighten your knee
  • Failure to obtain pain relief from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen, often are most effective in the early stages of arthritis. Their effectiveness in controlling knee pain varies greatly from person to person. These drugs may become less effective for patients with severe arthritis.
  • Inability to tolerate or complications from pain medications
  • Failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as cortisone injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries
    The surgical instruments used are smaller than traditional instruments. Surgeons view the joint area on a video monitor, and can diagnose and repair torn joint tissue, such as ligament and meniscus or articular cartilage repair.

Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are age 60 to 80, but orthopaedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability, not age. Total knee replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis. The procedure itself takes approximately 2 hours. Your orthopaedic surgeon will remove the damaged cartilage and bone and then position the new metal and plastic joint surfaces to restore the alignment and function of your knee.

Many different types of designs and materials are currently used in total knee replacement surgery, nearly all of which consist of three components: the femoral component (made of a highly polished strong metal), the tibial component (made of a durable plastic often held in a metal tray), and the patellar component (also plastic).

After surgery, you will be moved to the recovery room, where you will remain for 1 to 2 hours while your recovery from anesthesia is monitored. After you awaken, you will be taken to your hospital room.

An important factor in deciding whether to have total knee replacement surgery is understanding what the procedure can and cannot do.

More than 90% of individuals who undergo total knee replacement experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living. But total knee replacement will not make you a super-athlete or allow you to do more than you could before you developed arthritis.

Following surgery, you will be advised to avoid some types of activity, including jogging and high-impact sports, for the rest of your life.

With normal use and activity, every knee replacement develops some wear in its plastic cushion. Excessive activity or weight may accelerate this normal wear and cause the knee replacement to loosen and become painful. With appropriate activity modification, knee replacements can last for many years.

Conditions Treated By Total Unicondyle Knee Replacement

Arthritis
Osteoarthritis
Traumatic Injury

Symptoms Treated By Total Unicondyle Knee Replacement

Instability of the knee
Joint swelling
Knee pain
Knee swelling
“Locking” or “catching” of the knee
Pain on the inside of the knee
Stiffness in the knee
Sudden popping noise
“Wobbly” knee

Service Providers

Henry Small, M.D.

Dr. Small is a board certified orthopedic surgeon. He has 23 years of experience.