Patients who have Knee Osteoarthritis problem need to have knee replacement surgery. With Total Knee Arthroplasty or TKA technique, patients who have Unicompartmental arthritis of the knee will lose the entire surface of the knee bone, including the good condition parts. Therefore, Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty technique is a suitable technique for the patients because it is a surgical procedure that will keep the good condition parts of the knee.
Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty or UKA is a type of knee replacement surgical procedure used to relieve arthritis in one of the knee compartments in which the damaged parts of the knee are replaced and keep the good condition parts of the knee. This type of surgical procedure exits for over 20 years, and the surgical technique has been developing along with the equipment for better outcomes. This type of surgical technique is an interesting option for patients who have unicompartmental arthritis of the knee.
According to the studies, excellent outcomes for UKA, partly due to choosing the right patient and using the proper surgical technique that is operated by the expert and will extend the lifetime of the knee replacement for over 10 years.The overall successful rate of the implant is around 97-98% of the cases reported and with excellent outcomes. Moreover, if there is a need for revision surgery in the future, it will be easier than other surgical techniques. With the developed surgical technique, the wound size is a lot smaller compare to old techniques, and this surgical technique was called Minimally Invasive Surgery which is very popular in USA and Europe, it is because the UKA that used Minimally Invasive Surgery technique has a lot of advantages;
- The wound size is two times smaller compared to Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA); therefore, the pain after having surgery is also reduced compared to old surgical techniques.
- According to the data analytic of Vejthani’s Total Joint Replacement Center, patients who underwent with the UKA technique will lose blood 3.5 times lower than the TKA technique, that means the UKA blood losing average is around 139cc while the TKA blood losing average is 485cc.
- Patients who underwent this surgical treatment will have fast recovery; the patients will be able to walk within 1-2 days after surgery; surprisingly, some patients can walk within the surgery day. In some countries, patients can go home immediately after having surgery so that they can save costs.
- Patients will be rehabilitated faster after surgery. Moreover, patients will be able to press, bend the knee and be back to be normal within 3-4 weeks.
- There will be fewer complications, especially infections that may occur.
Even though the UKA that used Minimally Invasive Surgery technique has a lot of advantages, but there are limitations too.
- The UKA is more sophisticated than the TKA; therefore, it must be operated by a highly-skilled doctor.
- It needs surgical tools for assistance and precise surgery. Nowadays, Digital Light Box is used to help calculate the size and angle of the prosthesis and cartilage placing in the right position.
- This surgical technique is not suitable for patients who have severe degenerative conditions or excessive flexion of the knee.
- Patients with severe osteoporosis or over-weight might not be suitable for this surgical technique.
Basically, knee replacement surgery is recommended for elderly patients aged over 60 years old. Due to knee prosthesis has a long lifetime, and the new generation of knee prosthesis has developed and designed to be last 10-20 years longer; therefore this new surgical technique is used for patients aged between 40-50 years old. We have to admit that if the surgery did not go well, it might need the revision in the future, therefore choosing a hospital that has surgical control standards and highly skilled surgeon is very important.
However, Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty (UKA) is able to be done revision to Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) .It can be done safely and has good outcome as good as the first time knee replacement surgery and the knee prosthesis will be last 10-20 years longer.
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