Joint deterioration can affect every aspect of a person's life. In its early stages, it is common for people to ignore the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but as the disease progresses, activities like walking, driving, and standing become challenging, painful, and very difficult. The Knee
The knee is a complex joint consisting of bones and soft tissue (Figure 1). The end of your thighbone (femur) can be compared to a rocking chair. It has two distinct surfaces called compartments, which rest on the shinbone (tibia). A third compartment is found behind the patella (kneecap), and all three compartments are covered with cartilage to help cushion and lubricate the bones during movement.The Unicompartmental Knee
The traditional approach to knee replacement uses implants to resurface all three compartments of the knee (Figure 4). However, total knee replacement may not be necessary for every patient. The Oxford™ Unicompartmental Knee implant from Biomet Orthopedics (Figure 2) is a partial knee implant designed to repair only one weight-bearing compartment, making it much smaller than a total knee implant (Figure 3). The Oxford™ implant is designed to prevent or delay the need for total knee replacement. Unlike other implants, the Oxford™ Unicompartmental Knee is currently the only fully mobile bearing unicompartmental knee system available in the United States. U.S. surgeons and patients now have access to a system with excellent clinical results. Research has shown that the newer types of unicondylar knee replacements, particularly those with moveable plastic bearings like the Oxford™ Unicompartmental Knee, have exceptionally low wear rates, potentially giving them even longer life expectancies. The benefits of a unicompartmental knee include a less invasive surgery and a smaller incision. TTie procedure also removes less tissue from both the tibia and femur because only the damaged cartilage is removed. Since the implant saves more tissue, future total knee replacement procedures can be more easily performed if necessary.Rapid Recovery Oxford™ Knee Replacement
Rapid Recovery minimally invasive unicompartmental knee replacement is performed through an incision up to half the length of a traditional knee replacement incision. Surgeons can perform surgery through such a short incision because they use instruments specifically designed to move around soft tissue, rather than cut through it. In addition to a shorter incision, surgeons using the Rapid Recovery Program have implemented a highly organized treatment plan for their patients' physical and mental health. Rapid Recovery patients are educated with a variety of materials. The comprehensive educational materials will help patients understand the surgical procedure and its outcomes.