Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement surgery replaces the knee with a prosthesis (metal or plastic) that functions as the new joint. The success and recovery time needed for this surgery has increased dramatically over the last 30 years, according to the Mayo Clinic. The clinic also states that this procedure is ideal for adults of all ages, though younger patients may wear out the new knee joint much more quickly. Approximately 90 percent of those who undergo total knee replacement are free from pain and have improved mobility about 15 years after the operation. This is an option from those who suffer from severe knee pain.
Unicompartmental (Partial) Knee Replacement
Geared for older patients with arthritis, this surgery features replacement of a certain damaged section of the knee joint, hence the term partial knee replacement. About 7,500 partial knee replacements are performed in the U.S. annually. Compared to total knee replacement, however, partial knee surgery may not provide the same long-term results. The Mayo Clinic says future surgeries may be rendered more difficult because of partial knee replacement.
Bilateral Knee Replacement
This surgery is geared toward those with pain and arthritis in both knees, as it replaces both knees simultaneously. This surgery is not particularly common compared to total or partial replacement, and candidates must be in good health to undergo it.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
This type of surgery allows doctors to replace a knee with very small surgical incisions. It can be difficult to perform and is not recommended for all patients. It is also not ideal for knees with significant deformity or previous major surgery.