Patellofemoral Replacement

Patellofemoral replacement, more commonly known as a kneecap replacement, is a specialized type of partial knee replacement that only addresses isolated kneecap arthritis. Although patellofemoral replacements are not as common as other types of knee replacements, they offer many benefits to those with kneecap arthritis. These benefits include less invasive surgery that preserves healthy bones and ligaments, faster recovery, less blood loss, and a more normal feeling knee with better range of motion. In some cases, a patellofemoral knee replacement can also be easily converted into a total knee replacement if necessary.

Patellofemoral Replacement
Patellofemoral Replacement
Patellofemoral Replacement
Patellofemoral Replacement

Did You Know?

The kneecap, more commonly known as the patella, is located on the front of your knee. It slides back and forth on a groove in your thigh bone when you bend and straighten your leg.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Am I a candidate for a patellofemoral knee replacement?

Kneecap replacement addresses arthritis around the kneecap that typically only affects the undersurface of the kneecap. However, it is not ideal for individuals who have inflammatory or crystalline arthritis. To determine if you are an ideal candidate for a patellofemoral knee replacement, schedule a consultation with Dearborn & Associates–the best knee replacement providers in the Bay Area.

How are patellofemoral knee replacements performed?

At Dearborn & Associates, your patellofemoral knee replacement will be performed under general anesthesia and will usually take about an hour. Our partial knee replacement procedures are performed using a minimally-invasive technique that limits trauma to the surrounding structures and promotes faster recovery times. There are three main steps to a patellofemoral knee replacement:

  1. Your surgeon will make an incision in the knee
  2. They will remove the damaged cartilage and possibly a small amount of bone from the underside of the patella.
  3. They will then use bone cement to fix a metal piece into the trochlea at the base of the femur. This is the tray where the kneecap glides when the knee moves. Next, a plastic button is cemented to the back of the patella. The bone cement hardens within 10 minutes, securing the implants in place. 

What can I expect during recovery?

After your operation, you can expect to spend about an hour in the recovery room. You will then be transferred to a private room in our quarantined unit. Within a few hours, one of our physical therapists will have you up and moving as they show you post-operative exercises and techniques for everyday tasks. At this point, which is about 4-5 hours after surgery, most patients can expect to be discharged. In some cases, an overnight stay may be required.

During your recovery process, medical assistive equipment such as a cane, walker, or crutches may be needed. You may also desire a cooling unit to help with postoperative discomfort. You can expect to have a physical therapist come to your house to assist you with an exercise program to promote proper healing. Follow up visits are also usually scheduled at the two week, six week, and three month marks.

In most cases, you should be able to walk independently as soon as 2-3 weeks after surgery. At the 6 week mark, you will be able to resume most of your regular activities. Your doctor will let you know if you have any restrictions at this point.

Schedule a consultation with Dearborn & Associates in Menlo Park and Fremont, CA today to see if a patellofemoral knee replacement is the right treatment for you!

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