Total vs. Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

A knee replacement is a procedure done to replace damage in the knee, often due to arthritis or a severe injury. The most common cause for patients needing a knee replacement is osteoarthritis. 

How is a knee replacement accomplished? Surgeons use metal and plastic parts to “cap” the ends of the bones in the knee joints and the kneecap. 

The goal of the surgery is to repair damage in the knee, so the patient finds relief from pain and better mobility in the joint. 

There are two types of knee replacement surgery: a partial knee replacement and a total knee replacement. Your physician will work with you to determine which procedure is appropriate based on your condition. 


What is a Partial Knee Replacement?

A partial knee replacement is completed arthroscopically. Arthroscopic knee surgery involves making small incisions where the surgeon will insert a small camera and tools to make the repair. Sometimes the procedure is referred to as “scoping the knee.” 

There are benefits of an arthroscopic knee replacement. The surgery can be completed with little risk of damage to other structures in the knee. It is less invasive, so in general patients experience less pain and fewer risks of side effects after surgery.

Arthroscopic knee surgery is usually performed with general anesthesia, though local or regional anesthesia can also be used. If the surgery is performed under local or regional anesthesia, patients may see the surgery as it is performed. 

After the surgery, the knee is wrapped in a bandage. It is advised to avoid bearing weight on the leg of the knee replacement. Not long after surgery, patients begin physical therapy to help restore strength and mobility in the knee. 

Arthroscopic knee surgery is one of the most common surgeries when it comes to Orthopedics in Palm Beach County. Many patients can return to activities of daily living without pain and mobility restrictions once healed from surgery.

Sometimes a knee replacement requires surgeons to have a better visualization to repair the knee, so an arthroscopic procedure may not be appropriate. In this case, a surgical total knee replacement may be a better option.


What is a Total Knee Replacement?

A total knee replacement may be more invasive but is also a common surgery. When is a total knee replacement recommended?

Most patients who have a total knee replacement experience a significant reduction in pain. However, because it is more invasive, complete healing may take longer than a partial arthroscopic knee surgery. 

Your provider may advise you to avoid running, jumping, or high-impact sports. Return to these activities needs to be discussed with your surgeon as it may need to be delayed, sometimes indefinitely, to protect the knee replacement.


What Are The Possible Risks and Complications of Surgery?

Complications from a total knee replacement are rare. Only 2% of patients experience serious side effects or adverse reactions. Rare side effects include:

Your orthopedic surgeon will discuss the best treatment options to minimize the risk of adverse reactions. It is important as a patient to be transparent if you note any side effects after your total knee replacement. 


Learn More About Orthopedics and Sports medicine

Orthopaedic Surgery Associates treat a range of conditions, including those of the knee. Our Board Certified doctors and fellowship-trained surgeons are a team of highly qualified and experienced orthopedic doctors who can evaluate your condition and symptoms. They can recommend the right pain management and treatment options for you. 

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain in the knees, consult our specialists to get a thorough assessment and accurate diagnosis of your condition. Depending on the findings of our physicians, you might benefit from knee replacement surgeries in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. 

We are one of the most advanced orthopedic groups in Florida. Contact us for more information on how we can help you on your path to healing your orthopedic health condition. 

We also offer the convenience of telemedicine for initial consultation and follow-up check-ups. 

Orthopedics and Sports medicine

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health


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Whether it’s post-injury help or consultation about your first symptoms, our orthopedic doctors provide total management of patient care. Contact us find out more about OSA, our doctors, and our facilities, or to get started as a patient.

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