Partial Knee Replacement

This surgery aims to relieve pain. Pain occurs when damaged surfaces of your knee joint grind against each other when you walk. The most common cause of damage to one side of the knee joint surfaces is osteoarthritis. Partial (or Unicompartmental) Knee Replacement surgery replaces a portion of your knee joint, usually the inner side, with new artificial joint.

Do you need surgery?

This is a good surgical option if damage in your knee joint is limited to only one side of the knee. A smaller incision is used, and the recovery time is shorter in comparison to a Total Knee Replacement. Your surgeon can help you decide when and whether surgery is likely to provide pain relief and enable you to resume your regular activities.

What happens during surgery?

A surgical incision is made at the front of the knee. The knee muscles are split and pulled aside to allow your sur-geon to reach the joint and assess the true extent of damage inside your knee. The damaged bone surfaces on one side of your thighbone and shinbone are removed and resurfaced with an artificial surface made of metal. A plastic liner is placed between the new parts. Your skin is usually closed with staples.

What could go wrong?

The same potential risks for a Total Knee Replacement apply to a Partial Knee Replacement, although are less likely. These include deep infection in the joint, blood clots, injury to nerves or blood vessels, delayed wound healing, continued knee pain, and risks of anaesthesia. Potential also exists that you may need more surgery if arthritis develops in the parts that have not been replaced. 90% of Partial Knee Replacements last 10 years or longer. It is important to discuss risks and voice any concerns you may have with your surgeon before having surgery.

Participating in your rehabilitation

Preparation for your recovery begins before your surgery. Being overweight increases stress on the knee and surgical risks. Aim to be a healthy body weight, keep active and strengthen your knee muscles in the lead up to surgery. Your stay in hospital may be 2-5 nights. Physiotherapy may begin the day of, or the day after surgery. Aims are to manage swelling, minimise pain, to assist you to regain the arc of knee movement, walk using crutches, and to climb stairs. Some knee pain and stiffness are expected during the initial weeks. Be involved and positive during therapy, and diligently perform your exercises at home.

Benefits you can expect

96% of patients who walked without an aid prior to surgery can do so again in less than 3 months. 90% of our patients are pain-free or have only mild pain (<3/10) a year after the operation and 89% report good knee function (OKS>34). We welcome you to view our live feedback from patients who have received Total Knee Replacements at The Joint Studio.