Why a Partial Knee Replacement is Same-Day Surgery

Joint Replacement Surgery
Print icon

Doctors at the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital are using new technology to customize joint replacements, making recovery easier. Here’s more from Dr. Mark Shekhman, a Bone & Joint Institute orthopedic surgeon:

Q: At the bone and joint institute you use tools to assess the best route for each patient to ensure that they are ready for surgery. What are those tools?
A:  Our first and foremost attempt at treating a patient with an orthopedic problem is to treat them without surgery. We try to maximize use of therapies, medications and supportive devices to improve ones function. But if these attempts are exhausted and a person does need to progress to surgery a combination of assessment tools are used. These include a combination of the old fashionedhistory and physical examination, of course, but also the use of questionnaire tools that most orthopedic offices are utilizing these days. Most visits start off with a computerized questionnaire about their problem and function which get processed by the computer program to give us a score and provide us with a better objective assessment of their disability. In addition, the use of xrays, MRIs and other imaging tools will help us create a plan that is unique and specific to each patients needs.

Q: There is talk of a new type of knee replacement – the uni-knee, how is this helping patients?
A: The uni-compartmental knee replacement, also known as a partial knee replacement, is not really new. We have been performing it for over 20 years. However, the technology has evolved over time and improved to make the procedure more successful and reliable. One advancement in this procedure is the use of robotics that has improved the accuracy in which the surgeon can implant the partial knee replacement.

This, in turn, has resulted in better outcomes and faster recovery. In fact, most of the uni- or partial knee replacements that I perform now are done in an outpatient setting. The surgery has become a same-day procedure allowing the patient to be home later that same day. In the past, most patients had to undergo a total knee replacement in the hospital, and some still do, but for those who qualify the partial knee replacement offers the patient the ability to forgo an admission to a hospital and have it performed in a surgical center, like the Hartford Surgical Center, which is affiliated with the Bone & Joint Institute at Hartford Hospital but still a separate entity and just next door.

Q: Many people have had knee replacement surgeries several years ago and are now having to have revisions to that surgery. You specialize in this, how do patients know when it’s time for the revisions?
A: As we all know nothing lasts forever. In the case of our joint that initially needed to be replaced, those replacements also have a lifespan. They are subject to daily wear and tear but despite being made of advanced materials like titanium and ceramics they, too, will eventually wear out. Our earlier generations of joint replacements lasted about 10-15 years. With today’s materials and technology they might last twice that long.

The first sign of a problem is experiencing a change in the usual function of that joint. Pain is common sign but not always. If something seems wrong or different it might warrant a checkup. More importantly is a periodic checkup with your surgeon to make sure the joint is functioning well. Just like bringing your car to the mechanic for periodic tuneups, our joint replacements should also be checked up on. Seeing your surgeon about every 5 years for a checkup with an X-ray might allow them to catch early signs of abnormal wear that might allow for a simpler fix than if one waited until the joint has worn out completely.

For more information about joint replacement surgery at the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute, click here.


What's New

Urinary Incontinence

After Prostate Removal: The Whys and Whats of Urinary Incontinence

A radical prostatectomy that removes the prostate gland and surrounding tissue offers men with localized prostate cancer a clear pathway to neutralizing the disease. The 10-year survival rate, according to a study cited by the National Institutes of Health, is 75 percent. Urinary incontinence, or leaking urine, is a potential...

Art Therapy

ART for Healing: Coping With Cancer Through Artistic Expression

When coping with a chronic illness such as cancer, patients and their caregivers can experience a range of complex emotions. Expressive arts and other forms of integrative medicine can be an important resource for people to learn coping strategies, express their feelings and help process experiences during early diagnosis, treatment and...

Mulberry Gardens Pageant Showcases Older women’s Lives and Legacies

Words of wisdom, gleaned from years of life experiences, were freely shared and taken to heart at the Ms. Senior Mulberry Gardens Pageant 2019 held June 14 at the independent and assisted living community. “Look on the bright side,” “Do whatever you can possibly do,” “Stay active and exercise,” “Live...

Men: Take Charge of Your Health (It’s Easy)

Dr. Jared Bieniek Medical Director Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute Men’s Health Waiting for your car to break down is the wrong time for a tune-up.  Preventive care can keep the engine running efficiently, avoiding headaches and expensive bills.  Unfortunately, many men do not care for their health...

New Study Shows Safety in Taking Blood Thinners Before Eye Surgery

Up until recently, doctors had no idea if people who needed eye surgery but were on blood thinners could continue taking their medication safely prior to their procedure. Many patients receive a nerve block on their eye and it was unclear if patients needed to stop taking them before receiving...

Deep Brain Stimulation

After Deep Brain Stimulation, Parkinson’s Patient Playing Banjo Again

Paul Cochrane hadn’t picked up his banjo in years, ever since Parkinson’s disease had caused tremors that prevented his fingers from plucking the strings to any semblance of a tune. But, after having the Vercise Gevia Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) battery implanted in January and turned and adjusted over the...