Health Report: Partial knee replacement

Health Reports

More than 790,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States.

For patients, it’s one way to eliminate the severe pain and stiffness caused by an injury or years of arthritis.

Doctors can now however remove just a portion of the knee and still offer patients relief.

It’s Your Health tonight.

Jonathan Stevens and his family have their hands full.

“We live on a small farm in Northern Indiana. We’ve never had a farm before, so we’re kind of figuring it out as we go,” said Jonathan Stevens, Received Partial Knee Replacement.

Everything changed when Jonathan started feeling severe pain in his knee.

“It was like someone had a hot ice pick and they were shoving it right into my knee and it stayed there,” said Stevens.

Doctors told Stevens that he would need a knee replacement.

“And unfortunately you’re too young, you’re too young to have one,” said Stevens.

Instead, the doctors offered Jonathan another option.

“Partial knee replacement is something that not everyone’s exposed to. It’s replacing just a portion of the knee,” said Dr. Ted Gerlinger, MD, Midwest Orthopedics at Rush.

Knees are made up of three main compartments, the medial, the lateral and the patella femoral joint that hides behind the knee cap.

“And all three of those can be replaced individually versus a total knee replaces all three at once,” said Dr. Gerlinger.

So if pain is only coming from one of those areas, then a partial will replace only that area.

“It’s lower risk and it’s lower morbidity and a quick recovery. Eighty percent of patients who get a partial knee replacement never need another operation,” said Dr. Gerlinger.

“Yesterday we had Brooklyn up on the horse and she wanted to go faster. Yesterday I was actually running with the horse and Brooklyn on. There’s no way I could have done that a year ago,” said Stevens.

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