When Robert Reed, an active athlete for much of his life, developed arthritis in his knee, he thought he would need a knee replacement. Rather than replacing the knee however, doctors performed a newer surgery, called “partial knee resurfacing.” In this surgery, doctors remove and replace the damaged surface of the knee, rather than swapping out the entire joint.
This is accomplished through the use of metal and a high-density medical plastic connecting to the bone. Partial knee resurfacing surgery allows doctors to minimize impact and recovery time, as well as requiring less invasive follow-up surgeries should the knee become injured later in life.
Dr. Ira Kirschenbaum, MD, a specialist in the field and pioneer of minimally invasive knee and hip surgeries such as partial knee resurfacing, says that this surgery is a viable alternative to total knee replacement for nearly seventy percent of patients, including any patient who is experiencing osteoarthritis in only one part of the joint, as opposed to those with rheumatoid arthritis or other, more severe forms of arthritis.
Learn more about this surgery here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OumPq03BHug
This surgery also leaves options for patients who may need to return, allowing for less invasive surgeries later. In the case of a total knee replacement, patients whose knees fail require another costly, invasive knee replacement, rather than relying on existing, healthy bone and tissue to fill in the gaps.
Dr. Kirschenbaum is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and was trained in hip and knee replacement and reconstructive surgery at the Rothman Institute. He developed instruments for partial knee resurfacing and holds several trademarks in the field. He now resides and practices in White Plains, NY.