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Partial Knee (unicondylar Knee) replacement

Even though a total knee surgery or arthroplasty have become quite popular among the patients due to its less invasive procedure, recently unicondylar knee surgery is gaining importance as it targets specific area of the knee. Unicondylar knee replacement is also known as unicompartmental knee replacement surgery and it is a less invasive choice for anyone who is having knee pain due to osteoarthritis.

What is Unicondylar Knee Replacement Surgery?

This is a procedure which has been designed to operate on and replace only the parts and portions of the knee which has been most dangerously damaged by arthritis. This procedure allows the healthier portions of the knee to remain intact, which ultimately benefits the patient from less scarring, less recovery time and a full range of motion.

Unicondylar knee replacement surgery is generally performed on younger, healthier and more active patients with limited desease of the knee, who are reluctant to go through a total knee replacement procedure. It is also suggested to the patients who have a more localized arthritis condition that does not affect the whole knee. This is a more viable alternative to the total knee replacement procedure.


The knee is comprised of three compartments:

  • The medial compartment – it is located on the inside of the knee.
  • The lateral compartment – this is located on the outside of the knee.
  • The patellofemoral compartment – which is located in the front of the knee.

In many a cases of osteoarthritis patients, the whole knee is not affected by arthritis. The medial compartment and sometimes the lateral compartment, is generally most affected by arthritis. In these medical conditions, undergoing a total knee surgery is not only unnecessary. To these patients the doctor will suggest a unicondylar knee replacement surgery for the treatment of their affected knee. The term unicondylar is derived from the replacement of a single section of the smooth bone ends or condyles. Condyles are either the medial compartment or the lateral compartment. It is here that unicondyler replacement differs from total knee replacement, as total knee replacement requires the replacement of all three compartments.

Advantages of Unicondylar Knee Replacement Surgery

Doctors refer to unicondylar knee replacement surgery due to a number of advantages that it offers. Once the doctor diagnose your condition and deuce that your arthritis is appropriate for a unicondylar surgery you will be referred for one. Before you go for the procedure, here are some advantages of a partial knee replacement surgery that you must know of:

  • A unicondylar knee replacement surgery requires less recovery time compared to a total knee replacement surgery.
  • Since it is a partial surgery, the patient will experience less pain post operation.
  • Its less invasive technique contributes to low amount of blood loss as compared to a total knee replacement surgery.
  • In a unicondylar knee replacement surgery, the bone, ligaments and cartilages of the patient are kept intanct, many reports that post-op the unicompartmental knee replacement surgery makes their knee area feels more natural than a total knee replacement.



Consultant Orthopedic, Joint Replacement and Arthroscopy Surgeon

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