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Partial knee replacement: unicondylar arthroplasty

aka unicompartmental prothesis, hemiprosthesis

Some forms of knee arthritis can be treated by a partial knee prosthesis, ie by replacing the cartilage and meniscus only on one side of the knee joint, as shown below:



The surgery is less invasive, the skin incision shorter, rehab is faster, and the knee feels "more natural".

The following are stuations where a unicondylar arthroplasty can be discussed:

- degenerative arthritis of only the medial or the lateral side of the knee

- unicompartmental wear of the joint surfaces after meniscus surgery

- isolated bone necrosis, ie a portion of the load-bearing bone collapses because of insufficient blood supply in a limited area

- accelerated wear of the joint surface due to x-legs or bow-legs

The hospital stay is approximately 5-7 days, and the rehab takes 2-3 months. Full weight-bearing is permitted right away, under protection of two crutches for about 3 weeks.

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