A unicondylar knee replacement is also known as a partial knee replacement. It’s performed in much the same way as a total knee replacement with one significant difference. During a partial knee replacement, only one section, or compartment, of the knee is replaced. The end of the femur has two distinct compartments. With a unicondylar knee replacement, only one portion of or one section of the femur end is replaced. This procedure can offer the patient a smaller incision, less operative time, and in some cases, a quicker recovery than total knee replacement.
A unicondylar knee replacement is recommended if only one portion of the knee is damaged by injury or arthritis. While a total knee replacement is recommended if a person has arthritis or other degenerative bone condition that affects the entire joint, a partial knee replacement is indicated if the damage to the knee joint is contained to only one part of the joint. Sometimes, additional diagnostic tests, such as an MRI, may be necessary to determine whether or not a unicondylar knee replacement is appropriate.
The recovery time for a unicondylar or partial knee replacement is similar to that of a total knee replacement. Because the majority of the joint is still intact, the healing time and return to work and play may be shorter. As in total knee replacement, physical therapy, and home exercise an important part of the treatment plan after surgery. Although there is a smaller area of the knee that needs to heal, it is important that rehabilitation instructions and recommendations be followed to keep the joint moving and to strengthen the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the knee that support the joint. Physical therapy prevents stiffness, increases blood flow to the area, and maintains extended range of motion that will further promote a faster, more complete healing and recovery.
At Active Orthopaedics, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"Dr. Carlson was courteous and practical, and ready to propose options. Despite the late Friday hour, he also spent extra time with me to discuss about other concerns."
"I'm walking better than I have in months after my knee surgery. I'd definitely see Dr. Kaplan again should the need arise."