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Information for Patients & Caregivers

Partial Knee Replacement

In the early stages of osteoarthritis, often only one side of the knee is damaged. This is usually the inner side of the knee but, although less common, arthritis can also affect the outer side of the knee. 
Recent research has found that approximately 50% of knee replacement patients are candidates for Partial Knee Replacement1. By having a Partial Knee Replacement before osteoarthritis progresses, you may be able to prevent the disease from spreading2, and avoid having to undergo a Total Knee Replacement. 
Osteoarthritis on one side, Partial Knee Candidate (Above)
A Partial Knee Replacement, also known as a uni-compartmental knee replacement, will replace only the damaged side of the knee, preserving the undamaged cartilage. This may result in:
  • A smaller incision, with a less invasive procedure3 and less post-operative pain4 compared to Total Knee Replacement
  • Keeping the four natural ligaments, which help provide stability and balance
  • An artificial joint which functions more like your natural knee

Benefits of Partial Knee Replacement vs. Total Knee Replacement 

There are many reasons that Partial Knee patients are happier5 and more satisfied7 with their knee replacement compared to Total Knee Replacement patients. 
Partial Knee Replacement has: 
  • A more natural fit*8
  • An improved range of motion*3,9
  • A more rapid recovery and shorter hospital stay has been reported with a minimally invasive technique used in partial knee replacement*9
  • A higher percentage of patients return to low-impact sports10 and are able to walk longer*9

            Mobile Bearing Partial Knee                                  Total Knee

There are many things to consider when choosing the right treatment for knee arthritis and your orthopaedic surgeon should take your goals into account following a knee replacement. The orthopaedic surgeon will consider many factors, such as age, bone density and the shape of joints to determine the most appropriate type of knee replacement for you.
* Compared to Total Knee Replacement

  1. Willis-Owen C et al. Unicondylar knee arthroplasty in the UK National Health Service: An analysis of candidacy, outcome and cost efficiacy. The Knee 16 473-478. 2009
  2. Weale AE. Does arthritis progress in the retained compartments after ‘Oxford’ medial unicompartmental arthroplasty? J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 1999;81-B:783-9.
  3. Deshmukh, RV, Scott, RD. “Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty: long-term results.” Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research. 2001; 392:272-278.
  4. Hall et al.  Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty (Alias Uni-Knee)- An Overview with Nursing Implications. Orthopedic Nursing. 2004; 23(3): 163-171.
  5. Data on File- Oxford vs. TKA Marketing Survey
  6. Price, AJ, et al. Simultaneous in vitro measurement of patellofemoral kinematics and forces following Oxford medial unicompartmental knee replacement. JBJS (Br). 2006; 88-B; 12: 1591-1595
  7. Study by researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, US. Portions of study funded by Biomet. Determined based on adjusted odds ratio calculation.
  8. Goodfellow, J.W. and O’Connor, J.J. The Mechanics of the Knee and Prosthesis Design. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (British). 60-B(3): 358–69, 1978.
  9. Lombardi, A. et al. Is Recovery Faster for Mobile-bearing Unicompartmental than Total Knee Arthroplasty? Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research. 467:1450-57. 2009.
  10. Hopper, GP; Leach, WJ. “Participation in Sporting activities following knee replacement: total versus unicompartmental.” Knee Surg. Sports Traumatol Arthrosc (2008) 16:973-979.