Total versus partial joint replacement: what are the differences?
In a partial knee replacement, your orthopaedic surgeon can replace the damaged area of the knee. This procedure is the best option for you after a fracture or if you have isolated arthritis. A total joint replacement would be better if the ball and socket of the joint is affected by arthritis or another disease.
Collateral Ligament Injuries
Because the knee joint relies on just these ligaments and surrounding muscles for stability, it is easily injured. Any direct contact to the knee or hard muscle contraction — such as changing direction rapidly while running — can injure a knee ligament.
Injured ligaments are considered sprains and are graded on a severity scale.
Grade 1 Sprains. The ligament is mildly damaged in a Grade 1 Sprain. It has been slightly stretched, but is still able to help keep the knee joint stable.
Grade 2 Sprains. A Grade 2 Sprain stretches the ligament to the point where it becomes loose. This is often referred to as a partial tear of the ligament.
Grade 3 Sprains. This type of sprain is most commonly referred to as a complete tear of the ligament. The ligament has been torn in half or pulled directly off the bone, and the knee joint is unstable.
Arthritis of the Knee
The major types of arthritis that affect the knee are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis. The pain develops gradually over time, although sudden onset is also possible. Even though there is no cure for arthritis there are a number of treatments that may help relieve the pain and disability it can cause.
Meniscus tears are among the most common knee injuries. Most individuals will feel a pop when they tear the meniscus but over 2-3 days the knee will gradually become more stiff and swollen. Treatment options depend on a number of factors including age, symptoms, and activity level as well as the type, size, and location of the injury.
The kneecap connects the muscles in the front of the thigh to the shinbone. As you bend or straighten your leg, the kneecap is pulled up or down. The thighbone has a V-shaped notch (femoral groove) at one end to accommodate the moving kneecap. The kneecap should fit nicely in the groove, but if the groove is uneven or too shallow, the kneecap could slide off, resulting in a partial or complete dislocation.
Some symptoms include pain in the front of the knee that increases with activity, pain when sitting, stiffness and swelling.
Common Knee Injuries
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and one of the most easily injured. It is made up of four main structures: bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. Many knee injuries can be successfully treated with simple measures but other more serious injuries may require surgery to correct. Learn more about the different type of knee injuries.