Total Knee Replacement vs Partial Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement vs Partial Knee Replacement

Joint Replacement surgeries, specifically Knee Replacement surgeries, have become some of the most common procedures performed across the globe. This is due to many types of arthritis affecting our joints and causing joint damage. Much like the end of a chicken bone, our bones are covered with a thin but resilient layer called Hyaline Cartilage. Arthritis can be thought of as the progressive deterioration, or wear, of this layer. As this happens our underlying bones begin to rub against each other causing the substantial pain so many experience. These various types of arthritis can be caused from previous injuries, autoimmune conditions, or even simple wear and tear from activities and aging. Whatever the cause, the results can be debilitating.


Symptoms of Arthritis

Symptoms of Arthritis range from mild stiffness and soreness to the loss of proper anatomical (muscular and skeletal) function, severe pain consistently felt within the joint, and the inability to walk. As a result, many ask when is it time to see a doctor to seek pain relief for arthritis? In short, if the pain is keeping you from performing your day-to-day activities, we recommend scheduling with a fellowship trained orthopedic joint specialist to see what treatment options will suit your individual symptoms and needs.


Treatment for Arthritis

For those who come to us with various symptoms of arthritis, there are a few initial steps that need to occur so we can appropriately diagnose your pain as arthritis pain and thus develop a suitable treatment plan for you.

The first step in diagnosis is taking you through a full examination of the joint in question and taking x-ray images. From here, you and your physician will work together to develop a treatment plan specific for the patients needs and lifestyle. In many cases, conservative treatments such as physical therapy or injection therapy, will be recommended as a starting point. If conservative treatment options are unable to help settle the arthritis pain, surgery is often our next best option.

Over the years, the surgeries used to treat arthritis pain have become very commonplace, exceptionally reliable, and tremendously rewarding for both the patient and surgeon when the patient returns to the activities they we’re limited from prior to treatment.

Total Knee Replacement vs Partial Knee Replacement

In most cases “Knee Replacement” can be thought of as a “Knee Resurfacing”. Essentially, the surgeon will remove the worn cartilage layer from the knee and replace (resurface) it with a new layer made of a very smooth hard metal and a medical-grade plastic to restore the joint.

Total Knee Replacement

In the knee, there are three main areas where our bones come in contact with each other. The femur, (thigh bone), the tibia (shin bone) and patella (kneecap). Restoring all three of these areas at one time is what we medically classify as a Total Knee Replacement. In many cases, by the time a patient comes to see us, their cartilage damage is severe enough, a Total Knee Replacement is the most appropriate treatment.


Partial Knee Replacement

Alternatively, there are some instances where only one of these three areas is the culprit for arthritis pain. In this case, a less invasive Partial Knee Replacement may sufficiently relieve the patient’s pain.

A Partial Knee Replacement procedure involves the removal of the one area of damaged cartilage and replacing it with a similar yet more localized hardware. The knee’s unaffected areas are left alone. With most cases, this procedure can be accomplished through smaller incisions causing less surgical injury to the knee. In other words, a Partial Knee Replacement could be classified as a minimally invasive surgery with less harm done to the knee compared to a Total Knee Replacement.


What to Expect with a Knee Replacement?

One thing to always remember, just because a procedure CAN be performed, does not mean it is always the correct choice. Always thoroughly discuss treatment options with your surgeon when making decisions to undergo surgery. To elaborate, there are some cases where you may not a good candidate for either one of these procedures. Your size, age, weight, overall health, outcome expectations, and  physical limitations or abilities all play a role in whether a knee replacement will be the correct procedure for you. With this, no matter if a partial knee or a total knee replacement is chosen, the procedure must be able to:

  • Be performed safely
  • Improve your function
  • Improve your quality of life
  • Meet your physical ability expectations and support most tasks that you will place on it after surgery.

Furthermore, each procedure requires a visit to either a hospital or a surgery center, where the surgery is performed through an incision over the front of the knee. During the procedure you will be under anesthesia.

Keep in mind, a Total Knee Replacement and a Partial Knee Replacement will both involve some amount of downtime and commitment to a rehabilitation period after surgery. However, with technology advancements we are now able to have most patients up walking with assistance immediately after surgery. Additionally, in many cases we can perform the procedure as an outpatient procedure and send you home to recover the same day as surgery.

Knee Replacement Recovery Time

Although a partial knee replacement may be slightly less painful and overall an easier recovery than a total knee replacement, they are both very dependent on a strict and crucial rehabilitation period. The patient’s diligence with their postoperative physical therapy protocols is critically linked to the success of their surgery. Also, as mentioned previously, your preoperative condition and overall health status greatly affects success of the surgery as well as the time to reach full recovery. If post operative rehabilitation is adhered too, many patients are walking independently within days to weeks following the procedure. Likewise, some patients are able to go back to work within four to ten (4-10) weeks as well. After either type of knee replacement surgery, you can expect to see progressive improvement in your knee’s pain and function for up to a year.

If you are suffering from pain and stiffness in your knees that is not adequately controlled with a conservative treatment, talk with your orthopedic surgeon or call us today to schedule your initial evaluation.

Developed by the Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group Joint Replacement Team

Meet Our Providers

Dr. Tyler Bron, MD Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Tyler Bron, MD

Dr. Michael Feign, DO Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Michael Feign, DO

Dr. Eric Jepson, DO Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Eric Jepson, DO

Dr. Theodore Stringer, MD Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Theodore Stringer, MD

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CSOG Comprehensive Joint Replacement Program Medical Minutes

CSOG Comprehensive Joint Replacement Program

Welcome to a Medical Minute segment with Dr. Tyler Bron, MD, Orthopedic Joint Replacement Surgeon as he introduces the New Comprehensive Joint Replacement Program at Colorado Springs Orthopedic Group.

Comprised of our four fellowship-trained Joint Replacement Surgeons and their teams, you can guarantee we will be with you every step of the way through your entire treatment journey! From initial consultation to post-operative rehabilitation, our clinical and case management teams will have you back on your feet as quickly as possible. When you become a patient of the Comprehensive Joint Replacement Program here at CSOG, you can expect a customized treatment plan designed specifically towards the severity of your condition using the most innovative and effective treatment methods available today.

Not only do our surgeons specialize in traditional joint replacements methods, they also specialize in minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques such as robotic assisted minimally invasive joint replacement procedures.

Outpatient total joint procedures performed in our ambulatory surgery center, The Orthopedic and Spine Center of Southern Colorado or within our community hospitals, allow the patient to recovery in the comfort of their own home the same day as surgery. Discuss with your physician if outpatient surgery is right for you as eligibility for these procedures may vary upon the severity of your injury or condition as well as your overall health.

CSOG has the largest group of fellowship-trained joint surgeons in southern Colorado and together have a combined 72 years of joint replacement experience. They pride themselves on the team approach, especially with severe cases our team of joint surgeons will meet and discuss in depth the most efficient treatment options to accelerate your recovery and get you back on your feet, doing the things you love to do, as quickly as possible.

To schedule your initial consultation, call us at 719-632-7669 today!

Visit to learn more.

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Arthritis Types, Symptoms & Treatments with Dr. Tyler Bron

Arthritis Types, Symptoms & Treatments with Dr. Tyler Bron

Welcome to a Medical Minute segment with Dr. Tyler Bron, one of four fellowship-trained Orthopaedic physicians at Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group. The video below will cover what arthritis is and discuss the different arthritis types, symptoms & treatments available at CSOG.

Arthritis Types: Osteoarthritis vs. Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis comes in several different forms including Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the cartilage, that lies between and protects the bones, to break down. Once this cartilage wears down, the bones become exposed to each other causing them to then rub against each other. This rubbing can cause inflammation and send pain signals to the brain. This is contrasted with Rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused by your body’s own immune system degrading the cartilage.

Who does Arthritis affect?

Arthritis can affect those of any gender or age, however, is most commonly seen when people get older. Arthritis, specifically Rheumatoid Arthritis, has a strong genetic component. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and is known as “wear and tear arthritis” where previous joint injuries, overuse injuries, or obesity can be the primary cause.

Man sitting alone on his sofa at home and suffering from arthritis types in his hand

Arthritis Symptoms

The most common symptoms of arthritis include an ache or dull pain that is constant and gets worse throughout the day depending on how active you are. As it progresses, the pain becomes more debilitating. Occasionally, arthritis progresses to the point where individuals are not able to live their desired active lifestyle. We recommend seeing an orthopedic specialist prior to this point.

Arthritis Treatment Options

There are non-surgical treatment options to treat arthritis. At Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, our physicians believe that in most cases, non-surgical treatment is the best place to start. Non-surgical interventions include weight loss, activity modification, avoiding high-impact sports activities, physical therapy, and the prescription of anti-inflammatory medications. Depending on the severity of your case, your physician may suggest a steroid injection that acts as an anti-inflammatory treatment. Once a patient has tried the above non-surgical options without experiencing long-lasting relief, then surgery may be a recommended option.

Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group’s board-certified and fellowship-trained joint physicians can put together a custom-tailored program for both diagnosis and treatment.

Meet Our Providers

Dr. Tyler Bron, MD Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Tyler R. Bron, MD

Dr. Bron has completed a fellowship in Adult Reconstruction, specializing in the treatment of arthritic hip and knee conditions.

Dr. Eric Jepson, DO Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Eric K. Jepson, DO

As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jepson’s specializes in the treatment of complex knee and hip problems, revision surgery, and new procedures for the treatment of arthritis.

Dr. Theodore Stringer, MD Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Theodore L. Stringer, MD

Dr. Stringer focuses on total joint replacement and arthritis management of the hip and knee.

Dr. Michael Feign, DO Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group

Michael Feign, DO

As a Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Feign specializes in the treatment of complex hip and knee injuries, hip and knee arthritis and Total Joint Replacements.

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Medical Minute: How to fit and use Crutches, Canes, and Walkers

How to fit and use Crutches, Canes, and Walkers

Welcome to another Medical Minute segment. Here, Haeleigh Little, a certified orthotic fitter from Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group reviews how to properly fit and use crutches, canes, and walkers.


The number one thing patients struggle with is getting the height correct. The height for all of these devices will depend on body type. Most crutches will have markers that will allow for adjustments, but each body is different. Fit can change depending on each individual’s body length, leg length, and arm length.


If a piece of equipment is not fitted properly, then the ultimate concern is the risk of injury. If the crutch or cane is not properly fitted to a patient’s particular height, you risk injury to the shoulders, elbows, and wrists because you are now relying on those parts of the body to walk.


Typically, you will want your crutches to sit approximately two or three finger widths below the armpit. If the crutches are too short, you can risk putting excessive pressure on internal structures and muscles within the armpit. Next, you will want to ensure the crutch allows for a slight bend in the elbow, that way in the case of a fall, you do not hyperextend your arm, potentially causing injury.


When fitting a cane, hold your arm down at your side, the top of the cane should hit at your wrist. You can do the same for measuring walkers, however you will want it to hit a bit above your wrist to compensate for slight bend your elbows as you walk with the device.


The biggest tip we recommend for all patients to follow is: go slow, listen to your body, and be aware of your surroundings when using any form of walking assistance equipment.


To schedule an appointment, please call the office at 719-632-7669. Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group does require a prescription for walking assistance devices so you will want to make sure you have talked to either your orthopedic physician or family physician prior to scheduling your appointment.
With these tips, you can safely fit crutches, canes, and walkers, and be on the path toward healing.

PhysiciansEric K Jepson

Eric K Jepson, DO

As a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Jepson’s specializes in the treatment of complex knee and hip problems, revision surgery, and new procedures for the treatment of arthritis.

> Eric K Jepson, DO

Tyler R. Bron, MD

Tyler R. Bron, MD

Dr. Bron has completed a fellowship in Adult Reconstruction, specializing in the treatment of arthritic hip and knee conditions.

>Tyler R. Bron, MD


Theodore L. Stringer, MD

Theodore L. Stringer, MD

Dr. Stringer focuses on total joint replacement and arthritis management of the hip and knee.

>Theodore L. Stringer, MD

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Recognizing Early Signs Of Arthritis

Recognizing the Early Signs of Arthritis

Twenty-three percent of all Americans experience arthritis.  This condition is an inflammation of the joints that often results in pain and stiffness. It breaks down the cartilage that helps joints bend and move smoothly. The effects of arthritis generally worsen with age.

Early signs of arthritisTwo people skiing

If you experience:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • stiffness
  • redness
  • decreased range of motion in your joints

You may have arthritis. The best way to know for sure is to have a physical examination with an orthopedic specialist. He or she can diagnose your symptoms and order imaging like x-rays, CT scans, or an MRI to help determine the best treatment options for your situation.

Treatment for advanced arthritis

If the arthritis is significantly impairing your ability to perform day to day activities, your physician may recommend surgery to repair the damaged joint. In some cases, a joint repair may be the only thing necessary to smooth joint surfaces and increase function. This can often be done through a small incision and the use of a camera, or scope. More extreme cases may require a total joint replacement in order to reduce pain and increase mobility and range of motion. Although these procedures tend to have great outcomes, you should always ask you doctor about more conservative treatment options for your situation.

Non-surgical options for the early signs of arthritis

Pain is the driving force behind surgical and non-surgical treatment options for arthritis. There is no known cure for arthritis, but there are treatments that can reduce pain and help you function more normally. Sometimes, a simple cortisone injection can make a world of difference. Overweight patients can also reduce the pain and stress in joints by losing even a few pounds. The important thing is to speak with a specialist about your specific needs.

Time to see a specialist

Once again, pain is usually what causes people to see a doctor. If you have any questions about your joints or other orthopedic conditions, it doesn’t hurt to come see us. We can educate you on your options and work with you to determine an ideal course of action for you. Visit Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group for more information or to book an appointment for your arthritis pain.

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