Advantages of Partial Knee Replacement
Multiple studies have shown that modern unicompartmental knee replacement performs very well in the vast majority of patients who are appropriate candidates. The 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 kept, most patients report that a unicompartmental knee replacement feels more “natural” than a total knee replacement.
- A unicompartmental knee may also bend better.
Partial Knee Replacement
A partial knee replacement operation typically lasts between 1 and 2 hours.
Your surgeon will make an incision at the front of your knee exploring the three compartments of your knee to verify that the cartilage damage is, in fact, limited to one compartment and that your ligaments are intact.
If your surgeon feels that your knee is unsuitable for a partial knee replacement, he will instead perform a total knee replacement.
He will discuss this contingency plan with you before your operation to make sure that you agree with this strategy.
If your knee is suitable for a partial knee replacement, your 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.