Just Orthopedic
Author: Charles T. Whittenburg

Many people live with disabling knee pain due to osteoarthritis. This condition is caused by cartilage wear from the ends of the bones that meet at the knee joint. Initial treatments for this problem often include anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections, and activity modification.

Unfortunately, none of the treatments can actually replace the cartilage. In fact, there is no treatment currently known that can replace this vital cartilage inside the joints when the damage is widespread. Due to the aging population, knee arthritis is becoming more and more common.

In the past, total knee replacement has been the main option available to patients for whom the above medical treatments no longer†alleviate their arthritis pain.† Although this is an excellent surgery, with good long-term results, and is still used quite often today, it still typically requires a fairly large incision, and the recovery usually takes 6 to 8 weeks.

This is still the surgery of choice for patients who have knee arthritis throughout all compartments of their knee. It is estimated that in 2010, around 720,000 total knee replacements were performed in the United States.

Using Makoplasty for Partial Knee Replacements

However, there are many patients who have cartilage wear in only ONE part of their knee. Usually, this is the medial, or inside part of the knee, closest to the midline of the body. If a patientís pain is largely located in this one area, there is a good chance that the patient will be a candidate for partial knee replacement only.

This procedure is less invasive, with a substantially smaller incision. There is also less blood loss and less operative time.† The postoperative recovery is usually much easier and typically takes less time. Because of this, the patient typically takes less time off from work and can get back to work that much sooner.

Partial knee replacement patients usually spend substantially less time in the hospital after the surgery. When I have a patient who has pain mainly on one side of their knee, and when their x-rays reveal severe arthritis changes on that same side, I usually perform this partial knee replacement for them.†This is another advantage and why I prefer to use the Mako system for partial knee replacements.

With this unique system, the patientís knee is mapped out before the surgery with a CT scan, which generates a three dimensional, computer-generated†model of their knee.†Then we can use computerized models of the actual knee components, place them in the virtual knee model within the computer, and adjust component positioning on the virtual model of the patientís knee, until we are very confident in the perfect placement of these implants.

If you would like to see if you are a candidate for the Makoplasty procedure, please schedule an appointment today.

Just Orthopedic

Charles T. Whittenburg , D.O.

Dr. Whittenburg is a native of the North Texas area. He graduated from high school with honors in 1986. He then attended the University of North Texas for four years and graduated with honors, majoring in Computer Science/Engineering with emphasis in Biology and Chemistry in 1990.

Fulfilling a lifelong dream to become a physician, he then entered the University of North ...

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