A partial knee replacement, also known as unicompartmental knee replacement, is surgery that replaces only one damaged compartment in your knee with implants.
It is usually performed as this compartment is causing arthritic pain that cannot be controlled by other methods. Weight loss, muscle strengthening and physiotherapy, painkillers, or other surgery have not helped to relieve your pain.
You’ll typically have a general anaesthetic for this procedure and it’ll take between one and two hours.
At Ramsay Health Care Hospitals, you will receive the very best of care and all the support you need before, during and after your surgery. Our leading knee surgeons are supported by orthopaedic nursing staff, consultant radiologists and chartered physiotherapists to deliver your personal treatment plan.
This surgery aims to get you back on your feet, enjoying greater mobility, and doing the things you love without pain. We understand the debilitating nature of knee pain. Our aim is to provide you with fast and convenient appointments for the diagnosis and treatment of your knee problem, so that we can quickly lessen your pain and get you moving more and returning to the activities you enjoy.
Osteoarthritis is the usual reason for a knee replacement. This is the gradual wear and tear of your knee joint where the cartilage that covers the surface of your joint and the bone becomes damaged and causes pain.
A partial knee replacement (PKR) may be performed if you have unicompartmental osteoarthritis. This is when arthritis affects only one part of your knee joint and the other knee compartments remain healthy or not significantly damaged.
You have three knee compartments: the medial (inner), lateral (outer), and patellofemoral. Partial knee replacement is carried out if only one part of your knee joint needs replacing.
As knee arthritis usually begins in the medial part of your knee, it is the compartment most frequently affected by this condition. Osteoarthritis is less common in the lateral compartment and rarely confined to the patellofemoral compartment.
In a full knee replacement, multiple knee components are replaced with an artificial joint. This differs from a partial knee replacement where just one compartment of your knee joint is replaced with implants.
A partial knee replacement is an alternative to total knee replacement (TKR) for people with osteoarthritis of the knee with damage confined to a particular knee compartment. It catches the disease early and by removing just one part of your knee joint you keep the healthy and unaffected parts.
Partial knee replacements compared to total knee replacements are less invasive, faster to recover from, and have fewer complications. As PKR surgery preserves more healthy bones and ligaments in your knee it can feel more flexible and natural.
When having private treatment, cost is a concern. In the UK, partial knee replacement cost is less than total knee replacement.
A partial knee replacement is a long-lasting treatment for knee pain. It has a similar lifetime to a total knee replacement. You can expect your partial knee replacement to last between ten and twenty-plus years.
Candidates for partial knee surgery are those suffering from pain with osteoarthritis and have knee joint damage confined to one compartment. Patients with two or three compartments damaged by osteoarthritis are candidates for total knee replacement surgery.
In the past, partial knee replacements were only performed for older patients aged 60 and over who were involved in few activities and wanted to minimise the risks of surgery. Now unicompartmental knee replacements are often done in younger people. They want to remain highly active without pain and enjoy a quick recovery.
There are other eligibility criteria for a partial knee replacement such as intact and stable knee ligaments and a sufficient range of knee motion. Ultimately, your knee surgeon will carefully assess your knee and advise if you are a good candidate for partial knee replacement.
Every patient's partial knee replacement recovery time is different. It depends on your age, general health, fitness before surgery, job and whether it is physical, and everyday activities. Your surgeon will advise you on your individual recovery time.
Generally, you will be able to stand within 12 to 24 hours after your surgery. Most people can leave the hospital after one or two days. Within two weeks, you will be able to walk more regularly with the use of a walking aid.
Two to six weeks after surgery, you can start doing gentle exercise, get back to most daily living activities, and usually return to work depending on the type of work you do.
Most people return to their normal leisure activities six weeks after surgery. Six to 12 weeks after surgery, you should be able to carry out everyday activities with ease.
Full healing from your partial knee replacement will continue for up to a year. You can expect to return to the same recreational sports and activities that you enjoyed pre-surgery, except without the pain. It is generally recommended to avoid high-impact activities.
Running is a high-impact activity and therefore it isn’t usually recommended after a partial knee replacement. However, as PKRs are now often performed on younger patients who want to return to the activities that they stopped due to knee pain, some patients return to running. You should ask your consultant for more information.
If you decide to pay for your treatment, Ramsay offer an all-inclusive Total Care package, where a single one-off payment at a pre-agreed price, delivering direct access to all the treatment you need for complete reassurance. You can also spread the cost of your treatment with finance options available. The knee replacement (knee arthroplasty) cost depends on your local Ramsay facility, to find out more information around knee replacement surgery cost click here.
The procedure may be covered by your medical insurance policy. We advise you to check directly with your insurance provider and get written confirmation before commencing treatment.
One of the major advantages of seeing a knee surgeon privately is that your appointments and treatment are arranged at times to suit you and without any unnecessary waiting. This is especially important if you are in a lot of pain or if you want to avoid particular dates for surgery.
You will be treated by an experienced orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in knee surgery who will be able to discuss your individual needs and select the best prosthesis for you.
Additional benefits of being a Ramsay Private patient include:
• choice of consultant, where possible
• rapid access to expert opinion on the best treatment for you
• fast track admission and discharge
• single bedded rooms with en suite bathroom and flat screen TV
• choice from our a la carte menu as an inpatient
Mr Navraj Atwal
Mr Navraj Atwal is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Gloucester who specialises in Knee, Hip Replacements and traumaRead more
Mr Richard Barksfield
Mr Richard Barksfield is a Consultant Orthopaedic Sugeon at Winfield Hospital who specialises in hip and knee surgeryRead more
Mr Rob Gleeson
Mr Rob Gleeson is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Winfield Hospital in Gloucester.Read more
Mr Nadi Kalap
Mr Nadi Kalap is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Gloucester who specialises in hip and knee surgery.Read more
Mr Peter Kempshall
Mr Peter Kempshall - Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon - Winfield Hospital, GloucesterRead more
Mr James Pegrum
Mr James Pegrum is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon in Gloucestershire specialising in hip replacements and knee surgery.Read more
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