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1. What is partial knee replacement, and how does it differ from total knee replacement?

Within the knee joint, there are three main areas: the medial, lateral, and patellofemoral compartments. In the case of knee injury or general wear-and-tear, any or all of these areas may be subject to varying degrees of damage.

During a partial knee replacement, your orthopedic surgeon will replace only the affected joint components. The area of focus will be removed and replaced with an implant piece, which will be held in place using bone cement. This procedure is often recommended for younger patients, as a larger amount of healthy bone can be maintained. In some cases, a patient undergoing partial knee replacement will become a candidate for total joint replacement later in life.

Total knee replacement entails the removal of all three areas, which will be replaced with an artificial joint (or prosthesis). Since the 1960s, this procedure has undergone significant technological advances, and can now be performed on a minimally invasive basis. This approach often allows for a shorter patient downtime, as well as a faster and fuller recovery of joint function.

Based on your specific injury and case severity, Dr. Lyman will recommend whether partial or total knee replacement is best suited to your unique needs.

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2. What is knee arthroscopy, and when is it an appropriate solution?

During a knee arthroscopy procedure, a small camera (or scope) will be inserted into the joint through a small incision. Images will be broadcast to a screen in the operating room, allowing Dr. Lyman to successfully diagnose and treat the condition at hand.

This approach is used in both the identification and correction of a range of knee joint injuries. Common conditions for attention include:

  • Ligament injury
  • Meniscal damage
  • Cartilage damage
  • Kneecap injury

An arthroscopic approach may also be utilized in select events of partial knee resurfacing, partial replacement, total replacement, and like surgical procedures.

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3. What are Dr. Lyman's other surgical specialties?

In addition to the partial, total, and arthroscopic knee procedures above, Dr. Lyman specializes in the care of arthritis, fractures, and dislocations, as well as ligament, meniscal, and cartilage damage. In many cases, he will employ the most advanced methods of treatment, including computer-assisted (or robotic) surgery.

Dr. Lyman's patients represent the gamut of age groups, injury types, and levels of physicality. Regardless of your specific need, he will seek out the most minimally invasive options for your treatment, ensuring the fastest and fullest recovery possible.

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4. What is sports medicine?

Sports medicine focuses on the treatment of athletes and sports-related injuries. However, patients from any background may benefit from the care of a sports medicine expert. While any joint or bone may be susceptible to such an injury, the knee is one of the most frequently impacted. Within this specialty, common conditions for treatment include:

  • ACL and PCL injuries
  • Shinsplints and stress fractures
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Meniscal and/or cartilage damage
  • Bursitis
  • General joint and muscle pain

In addition to the correction of these conditions, Dr. Lyman provides guidance on the best techniques for injury prevention and safety. As with any patient type, the main areas for orthopedic focus during sports medicine treatment include: minimal downtime, fast recovery, and a full return to your preferred physical activities.

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5. What is computer-assisted surgery, and when is it an appropriate solution?

Computer-assisted (or robotic) surgery is one of the most advanced treatment approaches utilized within orthopedic medicine. In the course of preparing for a knee operation, this technology allows your surgeon to complete a comprehensive assessment of the joint, including the potential creation of a 3-dimensional anatomical model. During the actual surgical procedure, these pre-op insights will be used to ensure proper joint alignment (often within fractions of a millimeter) and prosthetic placement.

The use of computer-assisted surgical techniques can be found in partial or total knee replacements, as well as arthroscopic and resurfacing procedures. In each case, the robotic advantage often allows the surgery team to execute a less invasive procedure, reducing the risk for complications and improving recovery time.

An expert in sports medicine and computer assisted surgery, Dr. Lyman and his team provide the highest quality knee care. To schedule an appointment, contact his Coeur d'Alene office at 208-758-0716.

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