Mercy Hospital
Mercy Hospital is a 488-bed acute care U.S. hospital located in Coconut Grove, Miami, Florida. It is Miami-Dade County’s only Catholic hospital and is a recipient of the MAGNET award.

Comparing Knee Replacement and Reconstruction Procedures

The knee is a weight-bearing joint that is subject to wear and tear damage over time. Many people also develop orthopedic conditions that affect the knee, such as osteoarthritis or fractures. When the knee develops persistent pain and functional limitations that aren’t relieved by nonsurgical treatment options, patients might consider talking to a surgeon at the Orthopedic and Spine Institute at Mercy Hospital. Depending on the situation, a knee reconstruction or replacement procedure might be recommended.


Two of the most widely used procedures performed on damaged or diseased knee joints are partial knee replacement and total knee replacement surgeries. Alternatively, some patients may be good candidates for articular cartilage restoration or knee osteotomy. Each of these surgical approaches have advantages and disadvantages; only an orthopedic surgeon can determine which one might be right for any particular patient.


Patients with damage that is limited to just one compartment of the knee might be candidates for partial knee replacement, in which just one part of the joint is resurfaced and replaced with artificial components. More widespread knee problems might necessitate a total knee replacement. Active patients who are within a normal weight range and are able to fully straighten the knee may be good candidates for knee osteotomy, which involves cutting and reshaping the bone. Finally, young patients with a single lesion of the knee cartilage might be candidates for articular cartilage restoration.


Before undergoing a repair or replacement procedure, patients should fully understand the potential risks and the recovery process. Generally, partial knee resurfacing and replacement is associated with a shorter recovery time than total knee replacement. There may be less blood loss and less post-operative pain. However, a partial replacement is associated with less predictable pain relief and patients may require a total replacement in the future. After repair or replacement surgeries, it may take several months for a full recovery. With any repair or replacement procedure, there is the possibility that revision surgery will be needed.

At the Orthopedic and Spine Institute at Mercy Hospital, you’ll find extensive patient support services, including educational classes, a dedicated orthopedic patient navigator, and inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services. Joint reconstruction and replacement procedures are routinely performed by our highly trained specialists in orthopedics in Miami. For general information about our orthopedics, you can call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (305) 854-4400.

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