What is a Partial Knee Replacement?
A partial knee replacement — also referred to as unicompartmental arthroplasty– is a replacement or resurfacing procedure to treat severe arthritis which is confined to mainly one part of the knee. The 3 compartments of the knee are:
- Patellofemoral compartment – front of the knee, between the patella (knee cap) and the groove in the femur (trochlea)
- Medial compartment – inner side of the knee between the femur and tibia
- Lateral compartment – outer side of the knee between the femur and tibia
Any compartment of the knee can be affected by osteoarthritis, or wear and tear arthritis, to varying degrees. When osteoarthritis is limited primarily to a single compartment, partial knee replacement may be a good option.
Compared to a complete knee replacement, there are several benefits to a partial knee replacement, including:
- Less invasive
- Less blood loss
- Less post-surgical pain
- Preservation of areas of the knee unaffected by arthritis
- Preservation of all your ligaments
- Shorter recovery time
- Greater range of motion of the knee
- A more natural feeling knee compared to total knee replacement
Dr. Cunningham is a knee surgeon at Vail Summit Orthopedics and Neurosurgery. He is an expert at diagnosing and treating arthritis and performing partial knee replacement for patients in Vail, Summit County, Aspen, and Denver, CO.