If you’re like many people with knee pain, you’ll try just about anything—including suffering through the pain—to avoid surgery. Luckily for some, there’s an alternative to total knee-replacement surgery. In many cases, according to Michael A. Schwartz, an orthopedic surgeon at White Plains Hospital, people from age 35 to 50 can often opt for a partial knee replacement or resurfacing.
“Partial knee resurfacing is a good option for active people whose arthritis and age are not advanced enough” to warrant total knee replacement, says Schwartz, a former assistant team physician for the Philadelphia Phillies. Patients get a custom fit, and the ligament is preserved for a more natural-functioning joint. The procedure, which uses high-tech robotics, is also “less drastic and more precise” than a total knee replacement, according to Schwartz.
Other benefits of partial knee resurfacing include less pain and discomfort than with a total knee replacement; a quicker recovery time (four to eight weeks, rather than 12); fewer complications; and the “removal” of arthritis in the area. “Osteoarthritis can’t be cured,” Schwartz explains. “But, by taking out the diseased part of the knee, it can be removed.”