Understanding Partial Knee Replacements (Unicondylar Knee Replacement)

August 16, 2016 — by Dr. David Dodgin
Tags: Knee Replacement Arthritis

An x-ray of the knee jointIt's been estimated that one in five Americans will develop arthritis in their knee over the course of their lifetime. This can have a serious impact on your overall mobility, affecting the way you walk, get around, and go about your day. That's why the people are Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin are here. Our team offers state-of-the-art orthopedic treatment to replace and repair damaged joints.

We'd like to take a moment to consider partial knee replacement and how it can be a great help to you.

About Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Also known as unicondylar knee replacement and unicompartmental knee replacement, partial knee replacement is performed in order to repair part of the knee joint. The procedure is common if the knee has been affected by arthritis. Other kinds of injuries to the knee joint might also be addressed through partial knee replacement.

Partial Knee Replacement vs. Total Knee Replacement

Partial knee replacement differs from a total knee replacement, the latter of which targets the entire joint. Since just part of the knee is operated on, smaller incisions are often used. By contrast, a large incision may be necessary in order to work on and replace the entire knee.

During the consultation process, we can discuss if partial knee replacement or total knee replacement is better for you.

Good Candidates for Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Good candidates for partial knee replacement are people whose osteoarthritis has resulted in significant impairment of the knee joint or severe pain when a person bends their knee. Patients should be well enough to undergo this surgical procedure without facing serious medical risks.

The Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

During a partial knee replacement, an orthopedic surgeon will remove damaged cartilage and/or bone tissue in the knee joint. This damaged joint structure is replaced with artificial joint components that effectively take their place. The prosthesis or prostheses used are custom fabricated to the patient and often crafted from plastic or metal.

The size and location of the incisions will vary depending on the nature of your procedure. We will always strive to limit incision size within reason in order to minimize scarring.

Recovering from Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Patients who undergo partial knee replacement will typically remain in a hospital for one or two nights for proper medical monitoring. Patients may be able to walk with assistance on the same day as their surgery in some cases. Patients will be provided with a cane to aid with walking on their own.

Patients will undergo physical rehabilitation after their surgery to get used to their repaired knee. Most patients are able to return to most activities after two to three months, though the rate of recovery can vary.

Schedule a Consultation at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin

To learn more about knee replacement surgery and your many other options for enhancing your mobility and general wellness, be sure to contact our orthopedic surgery center today. The team at Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin will work with you to help improve range of motion and overall well-being.