Depending upon the severity and location of damage to the knee joint, one of two procedures may be utilized to surgically alleviate knee pain: partial knee replacement and total knee replacement.


Affecting almost every aspect of daily life, knee pain can be very debilitating. The most common cause of knee pain is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease affecting millions around the world. For patients suffering from severe osteoarthritis, knee replacement is often the best treatment option for alleviating pain and restoring the knee’s natural range of motion. Total knee replacement procedures have been performed since the 1960’s; however, recent surgical advancements now offer orthopedic surgeons an additional solution, known as partial knee replacement, for relieving knee pain.
  • Knee Surgery in Minnesota
  • ACL/Meniscus Injury
  • Partial vs. Total Knee Replacement
  • Knee Replacement Surgery
  • Partial Knee Replacement
  • Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery
  • Custom Knee Replacement (Visionaire)

Total Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement is recommended for patients who have severe damage to a large portion of the knee, have lost joint mobility, or are unable to work or complete basic everyday tasks. During total knee replacement surgery, Dr. O’Keefe will remove the entire diseased knee joint and replace it with a metal and plastic prosthetic implant, restoring smooth pain-free movement of the knee joint. All three knee components are removed and replaced during the procedure: the femoral, tibia, and patellar.

Following a total knee replacement, patients are required to stay in the hospital for at least 2-3 days to ensure proper recovery. For the month following surgery, it is particularly important to avoid placing undue pressure and weight on the treated knee. As such, Dr. O’Keefe will recommend patients use a walker or support until joint strength has returned.

With todays innovations, some patients may be candidates for outpatient partial or total knee replacement at one of TCO’s state of the art ambulatory surgery centers. This is called the EXCEL program. Patients who qualify undergo knee replacement and then recover overnight in a private care suite. Patients have their own private nurse and do several sessions of physical therapy before being cleared for discharge home the following day. Patients truly love and benefit from this boutique like way of having a joint replacement.

Partial Knee Replacement

Partial knee replacement, also known as unicompartmental knee replacement, is recommended for patients who have damage to only one compartment of the knee joint. To determine if partial knee replacement will best meet the patient’s needs, Dr. O’Keefe will complete a full examination and imaging to determine the type, severity, and location of the joint damage.

During the procedure, Dr. O’Keefe will use minimally invasive techniques to remove the damaged and loose bone and cartilage from the affected knee joint. He will then secure the ends of the femur and tibia with metal coverings, and insert a plastic component in between to allow for smooth movement.

Partial knee replacement has several advantages, including:

  • More normal feeling during movement
  • Smaller incisions
  • Decreased post-op pain
  • Quicker return to daily activities
  • More natural feeling knee

Partial knee replacement is often performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to return home the same day. After approximately 3-to-5 weeks post-op, patients will regain the majority of joint flexibility and strength required to complete daily tasks.

Partial vs. Total Knee Replacement in Minneapolis, MN

Specializing in knee pain treatment and minimally invasive surgical techniques Dr. O’Keefe is committed to providing the highest quality orthopedic care possible to patients in the Minneapolis area. To make an appointment with Dr. O’Keefe please call our Minnesota office at (763) 441-0298.