Partial knee – also known as unicompartmental – replacements are showing significant benefits to patients over the age of 65 compared with total knee replacement, as they are less likely to face surgical complications and require less physical therapy than those who undergo total knee replacement surgery, according to a study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College last year. Such is the case of Paul Groben, 88, of Stony Brook, NY.
An active man, Groben was still riding motorcycles, skydiving and flying a Piper Cub airplane over Long Island well into his 70’s. But eventually arthritis made his left knee ache to the point where he could not even walk without pain. “I was finding ways I could compensate for the pain,” said Groben. “I was taking half steps to get up the stairs.”
“He was getting sedentary,” said his daughter, Anne Hooker. “He was sitting all the time when he had been a very active man. He was declining.”
When Groben went to see orthopedic surgeon Brian McGinley, MD, who had done his wife’s total knee replacement years earlier, McGinley told him he was a candidate for a high-precision robotic-assisted partial knee replacement. The procedure is an alternative to total knee replacement for patients with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis that is generally limited to one portion of the knee.
Knee pain is most often caused osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that results in wearing and eventual loss of cartilage.
McGinley performed the partial knee procedure using Navio™, a high-precision, robotic-assisted partial knee replacement system. Patients may experience less pain, lower risk of complications and quicker rehabilitation with the partial knee procedure than those who have a total knee replacement. The procedure may also involve smaller incisions than with a total knee replacement.
“Robotic-controlled smart instrumentation allows for very precise resurfacing of the patient’s knee for partial knee replacement,” said McGinley. “This precision has led to improved implant alignment, and we expect prolonged excellent patient outcomes.”
Groben reports that two weeks after having the procedure at Mather Hospital he was climbing stairs in a theater and currently walks without pain.
“I can walk up stairs now. No more taking half-steps,” Groben said.