The orthopedic department of Friedrichshafen Clinic, headed by Professor Winter, offers soft methods of partial knee replacement, retaining the well-functioning parts of the knee joint. Various disorders of the knee joint, above all, arthritis, can be treated by means of a partial joint replacement. This method of knee surgery allows replacing specific parts of the joint with synthetic implants.
Partial knee replacement can be used in the case of various disorders, the most common of which is arthritis. The cartilage layers of the damaged joint are often replaced by synthetic components either in the form of partial or total knee replacement.
Partial knee replacement components are made of high-quality material to ensure optimal durability of the prosthesis and tolerance by the patient. Generally, special alloys are used, including various different mixtures of cobalt, titanium and chrome. In the case of patients who are allergic to specific metals, there are special alternatives that minimise allergic reactions.
The advantages of a partial knee replacement are:
If the arthritis affects only one side of the joint, a sliding prosthesis can be implanted. The advantage of this knee replacement surgery is that the collateral and cruciate ligaments are not damaged, thereby retaining the complex physiological pattern of movements of this incredible joint. In the case of isolated arthritis between the patella and the femur, an isolated patellar-femoral arthroplasty is possible.
Patients who suffer from damage to the joints in its various parts are eligible for unicompartmental knee arthroplasty or bicondylar resurfacing, which rectifies both the inner and the outer parts of the joint. If necessary, the cartilage behind the patella can be replaced at the same time. In the case of serious injury to the collateral ligaments or extreme malalignment, special prosthetics with a coupling mechanism are used. They are referred to as fully or partially coupled prosthetics. They are fixed to the femur and tibia with shafts and the two components are either partially or fully connected via special couplings, in order to provide the joint with sufficient stability and good functioning ability. This procedure also falls into the category of partial knee replacement surgery.
Deciding factors for the successful implantation of prosthetics are the correct alignment of the axis of the leg, the correct positioning of the individual components, the right-sized prosthesis, the optimal movement of the patella over the femur and a high degree of stability of the joint. Due to a new innovation, namely computer navigation the efficiency of partial surgery replacement has subsequently increased. The navigation instrument provides the orthopaedic surgeon with a wealth of additional information such as the three-dimensional positioning of the prosthetic components or the depth of the bone-resection.
The precision of the navigation system is clearly higher than the human eye and the capacities of conventional instruments (surgery microscopes) used for the implantation of artificial joints. High-level studies have proven that the use of navigation during procedures such as partial knee replacement increase the degree of accuracy in respect of the axis of the leg.
Besides the reduction of the risk of a failed prosthetic implant, navigation also enables bone-sparing surgery and makes it possible to assess the stability of the joint very accurately. For this reason, we at the Friedrichshafen Clinic always use a navigation system for operations such as partial knee replacement, although it involves higher demands on time and technology. The role of the navigation apparatus is to pass important information on to the surgeons, but the actual surgery is still performed by the surgeon.
The Friedrichshafen Clinic would be glad to advise you on different methods of knee surgery. Please feel free to make an appointment.