Knee Replacement Options

MAKOplasty offers a potentially less-painful alternative to total knee replacement

Do you have chronic knee pain that gets in the way of doing the activities you enjoy most? Now there’s a solution that can get you back on your feet quickly and without the pain. MAKOplasty, an advanced treatment option performed by orthopedic specialists at the Inova Loudoun Hospital Joint Replacement Program, is a robotic-assisted technique that resurfaces the part of your knee damaged by osteoarthritis, while preserving the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding it. The procedure is best suited for people with early stage arthritis in just one compartment of the knee.

“One of the advantages of MAKOplasty is that it provides a minimally invasive way to more accurately and precisely reconstruct a knee in patients who have only partial wear and disease in their knee,” says Nauman Akhtar, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Inova Loudoun Hospital.

Precision at Its Best

The knee is comprised of three different compartments: the inside or medial compartment, the outside or lateral compartment and the front or anterior compartment. Some people may have just one or two compartments affected by arthritis, with a healthy rest of the knee.

“When one part of the knee is out of alignment and starts wearing at a faster rate than the other compartments, it will affect the longevity of the cartilage in those other compartments,” says Dr. Akhtar. “Now we have the technology to replace part of the knee and keep the other parts from getting affected as quickly as they would have if the knee wasn’t out of alignment.”

Exercise Minus Pain

The goal of partial knee replacement is to get you back to your activities quickly and without the pain.

“With partial knee replacement, people get a much more natural-feeling knee and that’s part of the reason why they recover faster,” says Dr. Akhtar. “We can give you back that full functionality with less surgery.”

Following the procedure, patients are encouraged to resume physical activity. “It’s extremely important to get back to the things you love doing,” says Dr. Akhtar. While Dr. Akhtar suggests limiting high-impact exercise like running or playing basketball, he recommends a wide range of activities including biking, elliptical training and swimming.

How do you know if surgery is right for you?

“I tell patients to think about what their arthritis pain is doing to their lives on a daily basis,” says Dr. Akhtar. “If people are unable to do the things that they love doing, those are the people who are candidates for surgery.”

Dr. Akhtar recommends surgery only after other, more conservative treatments have been tried with no success. “Our first approach is to opt for conservative care options and get people back to having a full healthy life,” he says. “But if their knees hurt on a daily basis, and it prevents them from doing the things they enjoy, that’s the time that they should consider surgical options.”

Treating Joint Pain

For more information about the Inova Loudoun Hospital Joint Replacement Program, call 703.858.8558 or visit our website here.