Arthritis or injury can damage your knee so that you feel pain during your everyday activities such as climbing stairs or walking. When non-invasive measures don’t resolve the pain, consider a joint replacement for your knee. Dr. Duc M. Nguyen has experience in both uni-knee and total knee replacements. These procedures are effective and safe ways to help you resolve your pain and regain your normal knee function. If you live in the area of Redwood City, California, call Dr. Duc M. Nguyen’s practice today or use the online booking tool to see if this is the right next step for your knee pain.

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Who is a candidate for knee replacement?

Dr. Nguyen always tries for the least invasive methods of healing first, but when your knee pain isn’t resolved with medication or walking support, and you feel pain even when you sit or lie down, it might be time to consider a knee replacement. If you have severe, persistent swelling or a knee deformity—in which the knee bows out or in—may also be a sign that you need a knee replacement.

Usually people with some form of arthritis consider a knee replacement. The three most common cases in which the procedure is necessary include:

  • Osteoarthritis, which happens when the cartilage that provides cushioning between the bones of your knee wears away
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized by an inflammation of the synovial membrane that surrounds your joint
  • Post-traumatic arthritis, which usually follows a serious knee injury

In many cases, arthritis or injury affects just one of the three major compartments of the knee. If Dr. Nguyen finds this to be true in your case, he may recommend a uni-knee replacement, formally known as a unicompartmental knee replacement. In these procedures, he replaces only the damaged compartment of the knee.

You don’t have to meet a certain age requirement or weight level to receive a knee replacement, but most are performed on people aged 50 to 80.

What are the benefits of a uni-knee replacement?

A uni-knee replacement requires less extensive incisions and surgery than a total knee replacement. Patients who have a uni-knee replacement return to their normal activities sooner than those with a total knee replacement.

What happens during a knee replacement surgery?

During a knee replacement surgery, Dr. Nguyen replaces damaged bone and cartilage with metal and plastic components. On the day of the procedure, you go under general anesthesia. Dr. Nguyen then makes the necessary incisions and prepares your bone by removing any damaged cartilage and a small amount of the bone. He positions the metal implants to recreate the shape of the joint. Finally, he seals the implants into place and inserts a spacer, which creates a smooth gliding surface between the metal parts of the “new” joint.