Partial knee replacement

During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
  • Prepare your home.
  • Ask your provider which medicines you can still take on the day of your surgery.
  • You may be asked to stop taking medicine that makes it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), and other drugs.
  • You may need to stop taking any medicines that weaken your immune system, including Enbrel and methotrexate.
  • If you have diabetes, heart disease, or other medical conditions, your surgeon will ask you to see the provider who treats you for these conditions.
  • Tell your provider if you have been drinking a lot of alcohol (more than one or two drinks a day).
  • smoke, you need to stop. Ask your providers for help. Smoking slows healing and recovery.
  • Let your provider know if you get a cold, flu, fever, herpes breakout, or other illness before your surgery.
  • You may want to visit a physical therapist before surgery to learn exercises that can help you recover.
  • Practice using a cane, walker, crutches, or a wheelchair.
  • On the day of your surgery:
  • You may be told not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
  • Take the medicines your provider told you to take with a sip of water.
  • Your provider will tell you when to arrive at the hospital.
After the Procedure

You may be able to go home the same day or need to stay in the hospital for a day. You can put your full weight on your knee right away. After you return home, you should try to do what your surgeon tells you. This includes going to the bathroom or taking walks in the hallways with help. You will also need physical therapy to improve range of motion and strengthen the muscles around the knee.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most people recover quickly and have much less pain than they did before surgery. People who have a partial knee replacement recover faster than those who have a total knee replacement.

Many people are able to walk without a cane or walker within 3 to 4 weeks after surgery. You will need physical therapy for 3 to 4 months.

Most forms of exercise are OK after surgery, including walking, swimming, tennis, golf, and biking. However, you should avoid high-impact activities such as jogging.

Partial knee replacement can have good results for some people. However, the unreplaced part of the knee can still degenerate and you may need a full knee replacement down the road. Partial inside or outside replacement has good outcomes for up to 10 years after surgery. Partial patella or patellofemoral replacement does not have as good long-term results as the partial inside or outside replacements. You should discuss with your provider whether you are a candidate for partial knee replacement and what the success rate is for your condition.

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