Dr. Anthony Schepsis is a well-respected authority in the field of orthopedics. He focuses most of his attention on sports medicine, as well as shoulder and knee reconstruction. Now, Dr. Schepsis is offering his insight into some key differences between total and partial knee replacement surgery options. An article that was published recently in Journal of the American Medical Association states that between 1991 and 2010, annual knee replacement surgery numbers in the United States jumped by 161.5 percent, going from 93,230 to 243,802 surgeries each year.
For patients who may benefit from these types of procedures, it is important to understand the subtleties of knee replacement surgeries. For example, there are two types of knee replacement procedures: partial and total. Both are found to be highly successful, so the decision between the two depends strictly on the patient’s symptoms and goals. Partial knee replacements are a good choice for a small number of patients who are dealing with osteoarthritis of the knee. If the arthritis appears strictly in a single compartment of the knee, it is likely that an orthopedic surgeon will then advise the individual to undergo a partial knee replacement
The benefits of choosing to go with this type of treatment instead of a total knee replacement include a faster recovery period and smaller incisions. Total knee replacements are generally done on those who are experiencing arthritis in more than one part of their knee. While these procedures are more invasive than partial knee replacements, they are also found to last longer.
Dr. Anthony Schepsis offers his expertise on these procedures stating, “There has been a large increase in the numbers of knee replacements, both partial and total, being performed over the last decade, and this increase will continue in future years. The knee contains three compartments, the medial or inside, the lateral or outside, and the patellofemoral or anterior compartment. Ninety percent of the time, osteoarthritis of the knee involves two or more compartments, necessitating total knee replacement. However, in about eight to 10 percent of patients, just one compartment is involved, making them a candidate for a partial replacement. The younger and more active the patient is, the more they may be a candidate for a partial when only one compartment is involved.”
There is good news for those hoping to get back on their feet after undergoing either a partial or total knee replacement. Doctors explain that the advancements in the field of joint replacement surgery enables patients to get out of the hospital much more quickly after the work is done than in past decades. They also state that those who take care of themselves prior to surgery are often able to return to their normal routines faster, while enjoying a significantly greater quality of life once the treatment is complete. However, a proper and thorough recovery routine is still essential in order to promote proper healing. This may include physical therapy sessions, medications, and other forms of treatment. Once a knee replacement is complete, a patient must carefully follow instructions from a medical professional in order to see a speedy recovery.
When knee replacement technology was first unveiled, it essentially just relied on hinges to take the place of the actual joints and muscles. However, today more than 300,000 knee replacement procedures take place each year using a wide range of artificial knee designs that can suit the patient’s lifestyle most effectively. These artificial knees are specially crafted to closely mimic the natural movements of the knee, as it glides and rolls during range of motion. This improved technology makes it easy for a person to continue to pursue the activities they love, even once they have undergone a partial or total knee replacement.
Dr. Anthony Schepsis explains, “In years past, this type of surgery was a debilitating procedure that left a person unable to do anything for months. It was also likely that they would have to permanently alter their lifestyle. However, thanks to huge advancements in technology and modern medicine, this is no longer the case. These improvements make it more appealing for a person suffering from osteoarthritis to do something about their condition. Particularly for those who focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle full of nutritious foods and free of cigarettes, recovery time is shorter than ever before.”
Many individuals are hesitant to speak with their doctor should they experience joint pain because they fear what suggestions the medical professional will offer. However, the advanced knee replacement treatments available today make the idea of surgery seem less daunting. Those who should consider talking with a doctor about a knee replacement include people who experience pain in the knees during minor activities such as sitting down or getting up from chairs, going up or down stairs, or even doing a minimal amount of walking. Advice from a medical professional is also necessary for those who regularly experience swelling or stiffness in their knees.
It is common for an individual to try out a range of solutions in order to cope with their knee pain without surgery. Many who suffer try to lose weight, engage in physical therapy, use braces, take pain medication, and simply rest, but rarely do they see satisfactory relief. For these patients, a partial or total knee replacement can often provide a much-needed and long-lasting solution to this problem. Though the procedure is typically useful for older adults, there are a number of younger patients who have worn their knees out prematurely and can then benefit from this form of treatment too.
Dr. Anthony Schepsis encourages those who are regularly experiencing disruptive knee pain to talk with a doctor about how total or partial knee replacement might become a useful option for pain relief.
Dr. Anthony Schepsis is an orthopedic surgeon who also instructs up-and-coming doctors. Dr. Schepsis’s insights on the field of orthopedic surgery appear in a number of scholarly publications. He is proud to hold membership in a number of prestigious professional organizations including the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the American Orthopedic Association, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Schepsis has a number of specialized interests within his field, including sports medicine, advanced arthroscopic shoulder surgery, tendon rupture in athletes, and arthroscopic surgery. Dr. Schepsis is currently in practice at Coastal orthopedics in Beverly, Mass. as well as a professor of orthopedic surgery at the Boston University School of Medicine. In years past, he taught at Sargent College of Physical Therapy at Boston University, as well as at Northeastern University, and a number of other educational institutions.