What Steps Are Involved in Knee-Resurfacing Procedures?


Quick Answer

In knee-resurfacing procedures, surgeons create tiny incisions, reshape the damaged surfaces, partially cover the fixed surfaces with metal- and plastic-bearing combinations, and resurface the area, according to BoneSmart. They insert a subcuticular suture below the skin or use skin glue for closure.

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Full Answer

Knee resurfacing, also called partial knee replacement or partial knee resurfacing, replaces damaged surfaces only and keeps the healthy parts of the knee joint, explains BoneSmart. Individuals who suffer arthritic deterioration to one or two knee compartments typically undergo the procedure.

Doctors use a cobalt chrome implant that fits the knee's anatomy for resurfacing a portion of the knee, states BoneSmart. The implant includes a tibial part made of polyethylene. Doctors remove small portions of the bone to attach the implant, and they retain the healthy cartilage, bone and ligament in the knee. Retaining the undamaged parts helps the knee bend more easily.

Doctors create incisions as small as 3-to-4 inches to place a partial knee replacement implant, says BoneSmart. They sometimes use a surgeon-interactive robotic arm system to assess the bone's damaged region before the operation. The technology also helps doctors plan the accurate positioning of the implant. Compared to total knee replacement, knee resurfacing often results in a smaller scar, faster recovery and less pain after surgery.

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