Joint Resurfacing

Dr. Lonnie Paulos is one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in this country. With over 30 years of experience, he treats adults with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis or a partial deterioration of the knee which has not yet affected the entire knee joint.

One of the most common causes of knee pain is osteoarthritis – also known as "wear and tear" arthritis. Conservative treatments such as medications and physical therapy may effectively relieve pain and restore mobility. When these treatments no longer work, and severe pain and disability appear, partial knee resurfacing may be the next step. For those who have arthritis on only one side of their knee, partial knee resurfacing offers a promising alternative to complete total knee replacement.

There are three compartments to the knee: the medial (inside) compartment, the lateral (outside) compartmen, and the patellofemoral (kneecap) compartment. Depending on where the arthritis affects your knee, partial or total knee resurfacing may be an option for you.

Dr. Paulos uses highly advanced technology in his custom, partial knee procedure. He will order a special X-ray in which the knee resurfacing components and cutting guides are manufactured specific for your knee.

The procedure of resurfacing a partial or total knee joint makes surgery a more palatable option if you have been reluctant to pursue traditional knee surgeries that often require months of recovery. It's a less invasive treatment option than complete total knee replacement and allows Dr. Paulos to treat knee osteoarthritis or partial deterioration of the knee at earlier stages. This minimally invasive orthopedic procedure is a big advantage if arthritis is on only one or two compartments of the knee. You normally would have required a total knee replacement, but now have the option for this new treatment.

The advanced treatment resurfaces the deteriorated portion of the knee and replaces it with an artificial implant. The innovative technology allows Dr. Paulos to position the implant components more accurately with the special shaping guides than conventional surgery and preserve more of the natural knee structure. Dr. Paulos shapes the bone surface with minimum removal of bone from the knee and precisely places and aligns the implant enabling you to experience a more natural knee movement after surgery.

The implant resurfaces only the damaged part of the knee, without disturbing healthy tissue. Dr. Paulos removes the damaged bone from the affected side of the femur and tibia, and then fits the implants to the bone surfaces. A metal component is attached to the femur, and a plastic one is applied to the tibia. Instead of bone rubbing on bone, metal now rubs on plastic. A smaller incision is needed, less bone is removed with less loss of blood, and it requires only moderate physical therapy.

In most cases, you will walk the day after surgery during a very short hospital stay. You will be able to walk without crutches within days and return to normal activities shortly thereafter. Some of the benefits include a shorter hospital stay with quicker recovery and less pain, more natural feeling knee, less scarring, and the preservation of healthy bone and tissue.

Because most of the knee joint is unaffected, and the basic knee structure remains intact, post-operative pain may be reduced and recovery time faster when compared with complete total knee replacement. Most patients leave the hospital after one or two days and may not even require formal physical therapy. A few daily exercises and walking may be the only rehabilitation needed.

If you would like to discuss your knee pain with Dr. Paulos, please call our office today so we can make an appointment for an examination.