If arthritis causes your knee pain, stiffness or instability, it's possible that only one portion or compartment of the knee is affected. If the other compartments have healthy bone and cartilage, then partial knee replacement — sometimes called unicompartmental knee surgery — may offer relief and allow you to maintain as much of your natural knee as possible.
The three sections or compartments that make up your knee joint include:
- Medial compartment: Inner part of the knee.
- Lateral compartment: Outer part of the knee.
- Patellofemoral compartment: Part of the knee behind the kneecap.
Partial knee replacement surgery replaces only the damaged or diseased compartments. Since the surgery doesn't require replacing the entire knee joint, your surgical incision may be smaller (usually less than four inches long) than that required for total knee replacement surgery.
Benefits of partial knee replacement
Not having to replace the entire knee joint minimizes damage or disruption to the main muscles that control the knee. This means you're more likely to experience a:
- Faster recovery.
- Shorter hospital stay.
- More natural-feeling knee since less bone is removed and there's less trauma to the soft tissues in the knee.
After knee surgery
Today's surgical advances mean shorter post-surgical hospital stays. In most cases, you'll be able to go home within 24-48 hours of knee surgery.
Your recovery plan probably will also include comprehensive outpatient physical therapy. Therapy will help you regain strength, improve movement and restore function, helping you get back to the activities you enjoy.
Throughout your treatment, your HonorHealth orthopedic surgeon will work with your primary care physician to ensure that you receive the best possible care and treatment. Depending on the recommended therapy or surgical approach, your surgeon may also collaborate with a physical therapist, anesthesiologist, hospitalist, orthopedic nurses and others in the hospital.