Mr Matthew Gee MBBS, BSC, MSC, FRCS (Tr&Orth) Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Partial Knee Replacement

Partial knee replacement surgery can be performed when only one side of the knee joint is worn or damaged. It can be a better choice than total knee replacement when this is the case as the recovery time is faster.

Who Should Consider Partial Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement surgery can help to ease pain or improve mobility when the knee joint has become worn or damaged. The most common reason for needing a partial knee replacement is osteoarthritis. Surgery may also be required if you have a bone deformity or you’ve injured your knee. A partial knee replacement may be recommended if only one side of the knee joint is damaged.

The Procedure

Partial knee replacement surgery can be performed either with a general anaesthetic or an epidural. The surgeon will make an incision down the front of the knee. The kneecap will then be moved to one side. The damaged bone will be removed from both your shin bone and your thigh bone and replaced with an artificial implant. The knee cap will then be restored to the correct position and the incision stitched up. You will then be taken to the ward to recover. When you are ready, you will begin rehabilitation to help you recover your strength and mobility. This is usually the same day or the day after surgery. You should be able to walk unaided within two to four weeks.

Risks and Benefits

Having a partial knee replacement could help to improve your mobility, but there are both risks and benefits to the procedure that you should discuss with your orthopaedic surgeon:

  • Knee replacement surgery is very safe, but there is still a risk of complications such as infection, bleeding, blood clots or stiffness.
  • Artificial knee joints are designed to last for about 15 years, but you may need to have the implant replaced or converted to a total knee replacement at some point.
  • The procedure should help to ease pain in the joint and improve your mobility.
  • Partial knee replacement can be performed with a smaller incision that a total knee replacement and less of your bone will need to be removed. You should recover more quickly and your mobility may be better than if you have a total replacement.

If you are experiencing pain or mobility problems in your knee, you should get in touch to make an appointment to discuss partial knee replacement and other treatment options with an experienced orthopaedic surgeon.


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