Prof. from Memorial Ankara Hospital Orthopedics and Traumatology Department. Dr. Ali Turgay Çavuşoğlu gave information about knee calcification and half-partial (unicondylar) knee replacement surgery.
prof. Dr. Ali Turgay Çavuşoğlu said the following on the subject:
More common in people over 50
“Calcification is the permanent damage to the articular cartilages for various reasons. Calcification, which is a progressive disease, causes serious pain and difficulty in movement in the joints. Calcification, which is generally seen in the age group of 50 years and older, that is, in the 4th and 5th decades, can be observed less frequently in the younger age group. While overweight and obesity have an important role in the formation and rapid progression of the disease, patients have obvious difficulty in walking and distortions in the legs, especially in the later stages.
Obesity is one of the most important causes of osteoarthritis.
Familial predisposition has a role in the formation of calcification. However, the obesity problem, which is described as the plague of the age in today's world, is one of the most important factors of calcification. Past accidents, erroneous surgeries, excessive occupational and sports activities and rheumatic diseases are the main causes of this disease.
Pain that does not go away with rest indicates disease progression
The most important symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the knees. In the early stages of the disease, this pain can be bearable, mild and intermittent; While it is easily relieved by rest, the amount and duration of pain increases as the disease progresses. It also responds less positively to rest. Another symptom is bending the knee inward or outward when viewed from the front (distortion). This finding indicates that the disease has progressed seriously. The pain that wakes you up especially at night warns the person that this disease has reached its most advanced stage. While swelling in the knees gradually increases, other findings include decreased walking distance, crackling sounds called crepitation from the knees, and edema by collecting water in the knees during simple movements.
Women in the risk group
Calcification, which is seen proportionally more in female patients over the age of 50, is more common in obese societies. Although it is seen less regionally in our country, the frequency of calcification in articular cartilages is increasing, especially in the Mediterranean region. Obesity, genetic transmission, excessive physical activity, previous accidents and surgeries are risk factors for this disease.
Half prosthesis surgery should be done before the disease progresses.
The diagnosis of calcification is largely made by simple x-ray examinations following a careful patient examination. However, when necessary, the diagnosis is confirmed by computed tomography and MRI examinations. Unicondylar knee prosthesis (half knee prosthesis) surgery, which is one of the treatment options, is a surgical treatment method in which only the deteriorated part of the knee is surgically intervened in the middle and moderate-advanced stages of calcification disease, without touching the parts that are not yet damaged. In order to benefit from the advantages of this method, which is also known as partial or small prosthesis among the people, it should be applied before the disease reaches a very advanced stage.
Many patients do not need physical therapy after the operation.
The unicondylar (half-partial) knee prosthesis procedure, which is performed under spinal (waist numbing) or general anesthesia, is a smaller (minor) surgical intervention performed with a smaller incision and less tissue intervention compared to the total (whole) prosthesis. In this surgery, only the damaged area of the knee is repaired with a prosthesis. This operation, which lasts for an average of 45 minutes, provides advantages such as less blood loss, less risk of infection, earlier return to daily life and no need for an additional physical therapy process in many patients compared to total knee prosthesis. Partial-half (unicondylar) knee prosthesis, which has the same success rate as normal knee prostheses, also has a lower postoperative complication rate.
Unicondylar prostheses can be used for a very long time.
Patients who reach the level of discharge within 2-3 days can walk independently after the 10th day without the support of a walker. Unicondylar (partial-half) prostheses, which generally have a similar lifespan with normal knee prostheses, can then be replaced with normal total prostheses. In this way, the normal knee prosthesis usage times can be doubled and 25-30 years can be reached.”