Partial Knee Replacement

Introduction

Partial knee replacement, also known as unicompartmental knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to replace a damaged or worn-out part of the knee joint with an artificial implant. It is typically used when only one compartment of the knee joint (either the medial, lateral, or patellofemoral) is affected by arthritis or injury, and the rest of the knee is relatively healthy. Partial knee replacement can be an effective treatment for certain knee conditions, and it offers several advantages over total knee replacement, including a quicker recovery and less post-operative pain. Here’s an overview of the causes, symptoms, and effective physiotherapy treatment for partial knee replacement:

Causes of Partial Knee Replacement Partial Knee Replacement Rheumatoid Arthritis Post-Traumatic Arthritis

  1. Osteoarthritis: This is the most common cause of knee joint damage that leads to the need for a partial knee replacement. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the protective cartilage in the knee joint breaks down over time, leading to pain, swelling, and reduced joint function.

 

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis can also affect specific compartments of the knee, making partial knee replacement a suitable treatment option.

 

  1. Post-Traumatic Arthritis: A previous injury or trauma to the knee joint can lead to post-traumatic arthritis in one compartment of the knee, necessitating partial knee replacement.

Symptoms of Partial Knee Replacement Persistent Knee Pain Swelling Stiffness Reduced Mobility Instability

The symptoms of a knee condition that may require a partial knee replacement can include:

 

1. Persistent Knee Pain: Pain in a specific area of the knee, often on one side of the joint.

2. Swelling: Swelling around the affected area of the knee.

3. Stiffness: Difficulty in bending or straightening the knee fully.

4. Reduced Mobility: Limited range of motion, making it challenging to perform daily activities.

5. Instability: A feeling of the knee “giving way” or being unstable.

Effective Treatments for Partial Knee Replacement Pain Management Range of Motion Strength Building Gait Training Balance and Proprioception Training Functional Training Education

Pain Management

Physiotherapists will use various techniques, such as ice, heat, and gentle massage, to manage pain and swelling in the operated knee.

Pain Management
Range of Motion

Exercises and stretching techniques are used to improve the range of motion in the knee joint.

Range of Motion
Strength Building

Strengthening exercises focus on the muscles around the knee, including the quadriceps and hamstrings, to provide better support and stability for the joint.

Strength Building
Gait Training

Physiotherapists help patients learn to walk correctly and without a limp, which can be common after knee surgery.

Gait Training
Balance and Proprioception Training

These exercises help improve balance and the ability to control the knee joint, reducing the risk of falls.

Balance and Proprioception Training
Functional Training

Patients will work on functional movements and activities specific to their daily lives to ensure they can return to their usual activities and sports.

Functional Training
Education

Patients receive guidance on post-operative care, home exercises, and how to protect their new knee joint.

Education

Partial Knee Replacement Physiotherapy Treatment

It’s essential to follow the physiotherapist’s instructions diligently, and the rehabilitation process can vary depending on the individual and the extent of the knee damage. A successful partial knee replacement and effective physiotherapy can significantly improve the quality of life for patients with knee joint issues.

After undergoing a partial knee replacement, physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the rehabilitation process to regain strength, flexibility, and mobility in the knee. The goals of physiotherapy after a partial knee replacement include:

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