Revised joint replacement packages and pricing as per Govt NPPA implant pricing, effective 16th Aug 2017.


If you are considering knee surgery, the following partial knee replacement information may help you understand your alternatives.

Knee pain from arthritis can be particularly debilitating because we use our knees in almost all of our daily activities. If you are experiencing Severe Knee Pain that interferes with your normal functioning, your doctor may recommend a partial knee replacement, also known as uni-compartmental knee replacement.

This procedure is much less invasive than total knee replacement and may give relief to people suffering from arthritis of the knee or a knee injury. Partial knee replacement surgery replaces only the damaged area of your knee joint, may require only one day of hospitalization, and results in dramatically less recovery time when compared with Total Knee Replacement Surgery. The knee can be divided into three compartments: the medial compartment, the lateral compartment, and the patello-femoral compartment. The uni-compartmental implant is designed to replace either the medial or lateral compartment.

The x-ray below shows a right leg with a degenerated medial (inside) compartment. Notice how there is no space between the femur and the tibia. This bone on bone contact can be quite painful.

Unicompartmental OsteoarthritisThe x-ray below shows a right leg with a degenerated medial (inside) compartment. Notice how there is no space between the femur and the tibia. This bone on bone contact can be quite painful.

Treatments Options

Your doctor may try several conservative treatments before recommending partial knee replacement.

Read More About Non-Surgical Options Here

If the conservative treatments do not relieve your pain from arthritis of the knee, surgical procedures may be recommended. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure to remove debris or repair torn cartilage. Total knee replacement surgery is major surgery that replaces all three compartments of the knee. Between those two alternatives is uni-compartmental surgery.

Minimally Invasive Partial Knee Replacement

The uni-compartmental knee replacement is a minimally invasive option for patients with Knee Arthritis that is isolated to either the medial or lateral compartment of the knee. This minimally invasive procedure provides several benefits to patients who have a moderately active lifestyle, are within normal weight ranges, and have arthritis that is confined to a single compartment.

There are many benefits to uni-compartmental knee replacement. First of all, the procedure leaves a 3-4 inch incision, compared to an 8-12 inch incision for total knee replacement. There is no disruption of the knee cap, which leads to more rapid rehabilitation.

There is minimal blood loss in a partial knee replacement. The procedure causes less post-operative pain and requires greatly reduced hospitalization compared to a total knee replacement.

There is also a reduced need for anesthesia and post-operative medication.

After the surgery, patients are able to walk within 3 to 4 hours and experience a much faster rehabilitation and recovery (2 to 5 weeks for many patients). After achieving full recovery, most patients experience an increased range of motion when compared to total knee replacement.

Click the image below to view a movie comparing partial replacement and total replacement implants.

The Procedure

The partial knee replacement procedure begins with the exposure of the joint through a 3 to 4 inch incision. The surgeon then properly balances the knee joint. Next the end of the femur and top of the tibia are shaped to accommodate the uni-compartmental knee replacement components. Trial components are placed on the bones to ensure proper alignment and are removed once this alignment is achieved. At this point the femoral and tibial components are implanted, the incision is closed and the procedure is complete.

Click the image below to view an animation of the partial knee replacement procedure.

Returning Home

You will be discharged when you can get out of bed on your own and walk with a walker or crutches, walk up and down three steps, bend your knee 90 degrees and straighten your knee. You’ll continue your home exercise program and go to outpatient physical therapy, where you will work on an advanced strengthening program and such programs as stationary cycling, walking, and aquatic therapy. Your long-term rehabilitation goals are a range of motion from 100-120 degrees of knee flexion, mild or no pain with walking or other functional activities, and independence in all activities of daily living.

FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions

What is partial knee replacement surgery?

As the name suggests, partial knee replacement is surgery to replace only part of the damaged knee joint.

The knee contains three main compartments: medial, lateral, and patellofemoral. Irreparable damage to these individual compartments can result in severe pain, loss of mobility, and weakness.

Surgeons often perform partial knee replacement surgery on the medial and lateral compartments. Limited osteoarthritis is often the main cause of damage to these compartments, and when traditional treatment options fail, a knee replacement surgeon prescribes partial knee replacement surgery.

How long does recovery take after partial knee replacement?

Partial knee replacement is major surgery, and it can take a few months to fully recover. However, patients can regain their movements and perform regular activities in 4 to 6 weeks.

However, one must remember that the recovery depends on age, prior fitness levels, and the extent of knee damage. Only a knee replacement surgeon can give an accurate timeline for recovery after evaluating all these essential aspects.

Who is a candidate for partial knee replacement?

Candidates for partial knee replacement include patients suffering from osteoarthritis in one knee compartment, whose knee damage makes their daily activities difficult. This surgical procedure is considered when conventional treatment options like medication, injections, and physical therapy fail to provide relief from the pain and weakness.

Other factors considered for knee replacement surgery include the patient's overall health and the integrity of the knee structure, including intact ligaments. Partial knee replacement surgery is mainly suited for non-inflammatory arthritis cases and may not be the correct procedure for patients with existing knee deformities.

What are the possible risks and complications associated with partial knee replacement surgery?

Partial knee replacement surgery is one of the safest surgical procedures available today. However, like every other surgical procedure in the works, it does carry a possibility of risks in rare cases. These risks may include blood clots, infections, pain, scar tissue, and stiffness. The incidence of these risks mostly comes down to the current knee health of the patients and other existing medical conditions.

So, it becomes essential to consult an expert knee replacement surgeon who can thoroughly evaluate the situation to give you a complete picture of the outcomes.

What are the advantages of partial knee replacement over total knee replacement?

Due to the partial nature of the surgery, partial knee replacement surgery offers a slew of benefits across all fronts when compared to total knee replacement surgery:

  1. Faster Recovery: Partial knee replacement surgery is less invasive with tiny incisions. This translates to less pain and quicker recovery, enabling patients to return to activities within 3-4 weeks.
  2. Preserves the Natural Feel of the Knee: Because prosthetic knee implants replace only a certain damaged portion of the knee, patients retain the natural feel of the knee and its natural flexibility.
  3. Reduced Risk of Complications: Lower blood loss, tiny incisions, and the less invasive nature of partial knee replacement surgery drastically cut down the risk of potential complications.
  4. Shortens the Hospital Stay & Quicker Return to Daily Activities: Faster recovery and fewer complications translate to shorter hospital stays. Since only a few damaged parts are replaced, patients can quickly return to regular activities in 3 to 4 weeks.