Unicompartmental/ Partial knee replacement is a procedure where only the damaged compartment is replaced with metal and plastic spacer. It is done in patients with limited pain and arthritis that is limited to only one compartment. The healthy cartilage and bone in the rest of the knee is left alone.
Advantages of partial knee replacement over total knee replacement include:
- Quicker recovery
- Less pain after surgery
- Less blood loss
Also, because the bone, cartilage, and ligaments in the healthy parts of the knee are not touched, most patients report that a unicompartmental knee replacement feels more “natural” than a total knee replacement. A unicompartmental knee may also bend better.
It is advised to patients with advanced osteoarthritis who have exhausted the nonsurgical treatment options. Surgery should only be considered if your knee is significantly affecting the quality of your life.
Your arthritis must be limited to one compartment of your knee. Patients with inflammatory arthritis, significant knee stiffness, or ligament damage may not be ideal candidates.
The surgeon will use special saws to remove the cartilage from the damaged compartment of your knee and will cap the ends of the femur and tibia with metal coverings. The metal components are generally held to the bone with cement. A plastic insert is placed between the two metal components to allow for a smooth gliding surface.
Patients usually experience less postoperative pain, less swelling, and have easier rehabilitation.
You will begin putting weight on your knee immediately after surgery.
The complications and precautions remain the same as for the total knee replacement.