What is a partial knee replacement?
A partial knee replacement (unicompartmental knee replacement) allows for the insertion of a prosthesis through a small incision with minimal damage to muscles and tissues. Only one of the three compartments of the knee are replaced leaving the internal ligament (ACL and PCL) intact. The incision is usually between four and six inches. This procedure is often done in an outpatient setting which allows for faster recovery and reduced risk of infection. The most common compartment replaced is the medial (inside) compartment although the other two areas of the knee, patella (knee cap) and lateral (outside), can also be replaced if needed.
Am I a good candidate for a minimally invasive knee replacement?
Your surgeon will determine your eligibility based on your history, physical exam and imaging studies.
- Have osteoarthritis in in only one compartment of your knee,
- Are in relatively good shape and health
- Are at a healthy weight
What are the benefits of a minimally invasive partial knee replacement?
The benefits of a minimally invasive knee replacement may include:
- Implant lifespan similar to a full total knee replacement at ten years.
- Reduced risk of infection in an outpatient surgical center
- Less pain and blood loss than a total knee replacement
- Return to most activities such as: tennis, golf, weight training, and skiing
What can I expect from a minimally invasive partial knee replacement?
You can expect the following from a minimally invasive knee replacement:
- A complete pre-operative workup that will focus on preparing you for your minimally invasive partial knee surgery
- Approximately one hour surgery
- Outpatient surgical setting reducing risk of infection unless significant medical or social issues necessitate hospitalization
- A comprehensive pain management protocol and gradual reduction in pain medication requirements day by day
- Four to six weeks of physical therapy
- A return to normal, routine activities within six weeks after surgery