Partial Knee Replacement

Why do total knee replacement if only half the knee is damaged?

The knee is the largest joint in the body. A healthy knee moves easily, allowing you to walk, turn, and do many other activities without pain. Every day, your knees must support your full body weight. Cartilage is the “shock absorber” of your knee joints, but over a lifetime it can start to wear away. This “wear and tear” arthritis (osteoarthritis) is the most common cause of knee pain. Without your cartilage protecting your knees, your bones grind against each other, which causes you pain: pain that you can feel while climbing stairs, working in the garden, or just trying to sit down. It may even keep you up at night.

In knee osteoarthritis, the cartilage protecting the bones of the knee slowly wears away. This can occur throughout the knee joint or just in a single compartment of the knee. Advanced osteoarthritis that is limited to a single compartment may be treated with a Unicompartmental knee replacement. During this procedure, the damaged compartment is replaced with metal and plastic. The healthy cartilage and bone, as well as all of the ligaments are preserved. In Unicompartmental knee replacement, only one area of the knee is resurfaced.

Mrs. Joshi shares her experience about partial knee replacement surgery.

“I used to have tremendous knee pain while walking even small distances. Since I have got a partial knee replacement done I have totally forgotten the pain and can do all my activities as before I have even forgotten that an operation has been done”
….Mrs Joshi after a partial knee replacement.

Here’s some knowledge that Sanjivan Hospital from Nashik wants to share with you regarding partial knee replacement:

Advantages of Partial Knee Replacement

Multiple studies show that a majority of patients who are appropriate candidates for the procedure have good results with Unicompartmental knee replacement. Also, because the bone, cartilage, and ligaments in the healthy parts of the knee are kept, many patients report that a Unicompartmental knee replacement feels more natural than a total knee replacement. A Unicompartmental knee replacement may also bend better. This is the reason why people consider partial knee replacement over total knee replacement.

The advantages of partial knee replacement over total knee replacement include:

  • Quicker recovery
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Less blood loss


Candidates fit for Surgery

In order to be a candidate for Unicompartmental knee replacement, your arthritis must be limited to one compartment of your knee. In addition, if you have any of the following characteristics, you may not be eligible for the procedure:

  • Inflammatory arthritis
  • Significant knee stiffness
  • Ligament damage

With proper patient selection, modern Unicompartmental knee replacements have demonstrated excellent medium- and long-term results in both younger and older patients.

Orthopedic Evaluation

A thorough evaluation with an orthopedic surgeon will determine whether you are a good candidate for a partial knee replacement. The Orthopedic surgeons of Sanjivan Hospital, Nashik are highly experienced and thoroughly trained to perform partial knee replacement surgeries. One of our Orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Umesh Kulkarni, has performed over 3000 major surgeries including 800 joint replacement surgeries. He has been trained for advanced training in knee operations and orthopedic procedures at a Hospital for Special Surgery, New York. He got brilliant opportunities to work with renowned joint replacement surgeons, Dr. Russel Warren from U.S.A. He has a huge experience of solving many complicated cases over the last 22 years, where he flourished with positive results in patients. He keeps himself updated with the latest advances in the world of medicine and technology by attending numerous national and international conferences. We suggest you to take medical help from him or any kind of assistance your joints need to for a healthy and happy life. He is one of the best in knee replacement surgeries and is the only one in Nashik who performs partial knee replacement surgery.

Here are some of the factors surgeons evaluate before considering a candidate for the surgery:

Medical History:

Your doctor will ask you several questions about your general health, your knee pain, and your ability to function.

Location of pain:

He or she will be specifically concerned with the location of your pain. If your pain is located almost entirely on either the inside portion or outside portion of your knee, then you may be a candidate for a partial knee replacement. If you have pain throughout your entire knee or pain in the front of your knee (under your kneecap) you may be better qualified for a total knee replacement.

Physical Examination:

Your doctor will closely examine your knee. He or she will try to determine the location of your pain. Your doctor will also test your knee for range of motion and ligament quality. If your knee is too stiff, or if the ligaments in your knee feel weak or torn, then your doctor will probably not recommend Unicompartmental knee replacement (although you still may be a great candidate for total knee replacement). 

Imaging Tests:

  • X-rays:These images help to determine the extent of damage and deformity in your knee. Your doctor will order several x-rays of your knee to see the pattern of arthritis.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans:Some surgeons may also order an MRI scan to better evaluate the cartilage.

Your Surgery

A partial knee replacement operation typically lasts between 1 to 2 hours. Your surgeon will make an incision at the front of your knee. He or she will then explore the three compartments of your knee to verify that the cartilage damage is, in fact, limited to one compartment and that your ligaments are intact. If your surgeon feels that your knee is unsuitable for a partial knee replacement, he or she may instead perform a total knee replacement. This contingency plan will be discussed with you before your operation to make sure that you agree with this strategy.

There are three basic steps in the procedure of partial replacement surgery:

  • Prepare the bone:Your surgeon will use special saws to remove the cartilage from the damaged compartment of your knee.
  • Position the metal implants:The removed cartilage and bone is replaced with metal coverings that recreate the surface of the joint. These metal parts are typically held to the bone with cement.
  • Insert a spacer:A plastic insert is placed between the two metal components to create a smooth gliding surface.

After the surgery you will be taken to the recovery room, where you will be closely monitored by nurses as you recover from the anesthesia. You will then be taken to your hospital room. Sanjivan hospital has a fully equipped recovery room with central oxygen, suction and latest monitor with N. I. B. P. Monitoring facilities available for all operated patients and critically ill patients.


Hospital Discharge: Partial knee replacement patients usually experience less postoperative pain, less swelling, and have easier rehabilitation than patients undergoing total knee replacement. In most cases, patients go home 1 to 3 days after the operation. Some patients go home the day of the surgery.

Pain Management: After surgery, you will feel some pain, but your surgeon and nurses will make every effort to help you feel as comfortable as possible.

Weight Bearing: You will begin putting weight on your knee immediately after surgery. You may need a walker, cane, or crutches for the first several days or weeks until you become comfortable enough to walk without assistance.

Rehabilitation Exercise: A physical therapist will give you exercises to help maintain your range of motion and restore your strength.

Doctor visits: You will continue to see your orthopedic surgeon for follow-up visits in his or her clinic at regular intervals. You will most likely resume all of your regular activities of daily living by 6 weeks after surgery.

The overarching goal of Sanjivan Hospital is to provide access to healthcare and lessen the personal chronic conditions through the procedure of partial knee replacement. Partial knee replacement is a successful surgical procedure. One of the advantages of this procedure is that we can potentially retain up to 60-70 % of the normal undamaged knee. This gives the knee a near natural movement and less pain.  It gives you years of constant motion in walking, running, driving and other recreational activities.

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