If the cartilage in just one of the knee's sections becomes damaged, Mayo Clinic surgeons can sometimes replace just the damaged section instead of the whole knee joint. Recovery is easier than with total knee replacement, but the results may not last as long, because arthritis could develop in other areas of the knee.
Minimally invasive surgery
Minimally invasive techniques allow surgeons to replace a knee using smaller incisions. This usually results in less pain and a quicker recovery. But minimally invasive knee replacement requires special surgical training, and it may not work for everyone. Your orthopedic surgeon will determine whether you're a good candidate for the minimally invasive approach.
Some Mayo Clinic surgeons use a computer-guided robotic arm during knee replacement surgeries. This device helps the surgeon remove as little bone as possible and precisely align the artificial joint to the bone.
Oct. 30, 2012
- Martin GM, et al. Total knee arthroplasty. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Total knee replacement. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00389. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1584/0.html. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- DeLee JC, et al. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-3143-7..X0001-2--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-3143-7&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Martin GM, et al. Complications of total knee arthroplasty. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 29, 2012.
- Stuart MJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 17, 2012.