Orthopedic Specialists

Partial Vs. Total Joint Replacement Surgery (Hip & Knee Replacements)

May 9, 2023

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If you’re experiencing chronic hip pain or knee pain, you’ve likely tried a range of nonsurgical treatment options. But when joint pain and mobility issues persist, joint arthroplasty may be the next step toward restoring your joint health. 

Deciding to undergo joint replacement surgery is a big decision, so understanding your options is important in finding the best treatment route for you.

Signs You Need A Joint Replacement

The signs that it’s time to consider a joint replacement procedure are similar for both hip replacements and knee replacements. Common hip joint and knee joint issues that require  orthopedic surgery include: 

  • Chronic and severe pain, even at rest 
  • Difficulty with routine tasks (picking things up, climbing stairs, getting dressed, etc.)
  • Testing shows advanced joint arthritis or other joint damage
  • Can be found with tests such as a joint arthroscopy 
  • Nonsurgical joint treatments (such as physical therapy and joint pain medications) are no longer working 

Once you’ve decided that it may be time for hip replacement surgery/knee replacement surgery, you’ll want to consider what type of joint replacement surgery is right for you.

Partial Joint Replacement Vs. Total Joint Replacement 

In a total knee arthroplasty/total hip arthroplasty, an orthopedic surgeon removes the entire joint and replaces it with an artificial one. In a partial knee replacement/partial hip replacement, only part of the joint is removed by the joint surgeon and then replaced with a partial artificial joint. 

Do I Need Partial Or Total Joint Replacement Surgery?

While the decision on whether a total knee replacement/total hip replacement or a partial knee replacement/partial hip replacement is the best option for you should ultimately be made with an orthopedic surgeon, there is a basic eligibility guideline. 

  • Two or more parts of the hip or knee are damaged = total replacement 
  • Only one compartment of the hip/knee is impacted = partial replacement 

Pros & Cons Of Partial & Total Joint Replacement

The benefits of total joint replacement procedures include: 

  • More commonly performed than partial replacements 
  • Lower reoperation rate 
  • Greater restoration of movement and pain relief
  • More durable than a partial joint replacement for those with active lifestyles 

The downsides of a total joint replacement include:

  • A longer joint replacement surgery recovery time than partial 
  • More invasive than partial replacement 

The benefits of partial joint replacement procedures include: 

  • Less invasive surgery
  • Faster recovery time than total replacement 

The downsides of a partial joint replacement include:

  • Less commonly performed 
  • Only partial replacement of the joint can create stress between the artificial and natural joints leading to the need for a total joint replacement procedure down the line
  • Those with degenerative joint conditions, such as osteoarthritis, often end up needing a total replacement down the road 

Premier Iowa Joint Care

With expert knee and hip surgeons, advanced technology, and a partnership with Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics, we’re committed to providing the best orthopedic joint care in Iowa. If you are suffering from hip, shoulder, or knee problems and want to talk about surgical solutions for pain relief, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Orthopedic Specialists today!

knee replacement surgery robotOutpatient Joint Replacement Surgery

Total joint replacements have come a long way. Previously, patients stayed in the hospital for several days to recover, only to make their way into another physical therapy session for post-surgical care. Our minimally invasive joint repair surgeries offer the benefit of reducing the length of stay in hospitals for our patients. Thanks to medical advancements, research, and technology, the orthopedic surgeons at ISH-Orthopedic Specialists can provide better outcomes and quicker joint replacement recovery times for our patients. To learn more about this minimally invasive surgery or to see if you qualify, contact us today

ROSA® Robotic Surgical Assistant For Knee Replacements 

We are proud to offer ROSA® Knee robotic technology from Zimmer Biomet. ROSA, which stands for Robotic Surgical Assistant, is designed to help your specially-trained knee surgeon tailor the placement of your knee implant just for you. The total knee arthroplasty surgical procedure using ROSA Knee is similar to traditional total knee replacement but with a robotic assistant. Your joint replacement surgeon has been specially trained to use ROSA Knee to personalize the surgical approach for your unique anatomy. Learn more about ROSA!

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