Knee Arthritis Treatment in Seattle, WA
Knee damage is caused by a variety of conditions and events – from osteoarthritis (long-term degeneration) to a specific injury. While Dr. Pritchett and his team employ a range of treatment approaches, including non-invasive efforts, the most severe cases may require the completion of either a total knee replacement, or partial knee replacement procedure.
Anatomy and Replacement Options
The knee is built to bend and provide support during walking, running, climbing, and other activities. While a healthy knee offers seamless and pain-free movement, damage can result in significant discomfort, as well as potential disability. The severity of symptoms is impacted not only by damage type, but also injury location. During an initial medical assessment, the surgeon will determine which knee components have been compromised: medial, lateral, and/or patellofemoral.
Total Knee Replacement vs. Partial Knee Replacement
The type of knee replacement needed – total or partial – will be dependent on a number of factors; however, the number of compartments requiring correction is one of the biggest influencers. Partial (unicompartmental) replacement will involve a single compartment, while total knee replacement will provide more comprehensive repair.
For patients with the highest levels of pain and disability, a total knee replacement will be the best option for providing necessary relief. As more of the joint is touched during this surgery approach, recovery tends to be slower (than in comparison to a partial knee replacement) due to the larger amount of healing required. However, following the initial phase of recovery, over 90% of patients report dramatic pain reduction, as well as an improved ability to complete everyday physical activities.
In cases of partial knee replacement, a greater amount of the natural knee structure will be maintained. As a result, many patients will experience a faster recovery time, as well as a more natural feeling during post-op joint movement. As compared to those undergoing total knee procedures, unicompartmental replacement patients have a higher likelihood for later revision surgery, as ongoing degeneration will potentially impact additional areas of the knee joint.
In the case of both total and partial knee replacement, Dr. Pritchett and his team will employ minimally invasive techniques as much as possible. Reported benefits to these approaches include, but are not limited to:
- More limited blood loss
- Decreased post-op pain
- Further expedited recovery time
Diagnosis and Procedure Selection
On a case-by-case basis, Dr. Pritchett and his team will assess and diagnose the level of damage present, prescribing the best treatment approaches for comprehensive relief and recovery. While initial non-surgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers and behavior modification, may be prescribed, patients with more extensive joint damage will require more expedited corrective intervention. Prior to any surgical efforts, the patient will be provided a plan of pre-op and post-op expectations, including timelines for one’s return to both basic and more advanced physical activities.
Learn More About Knee Arthritis Treatment in Seattle
Dr. Pritchett is an expert in the correction of a range of knee conditions, including those requiring surgical intervention and repair. If suffering from knee pain and disability, contact his Seattle office to schedule an appointment.
Last Modified: July 30, 2014