A partial knee replacement is surgery to replace only one part of a damaged knee. It can replace either the inside (medial) part, the outside (lateral) part, or the kneecap part of the knee.
Surgery to replace the whole knee joint is called total knee replacement.
Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty; Knee replacement - partial; Unicondylar knee replacement; Arthroplasty - unicompartmental knee; UKA; Minimally invasive partial knee replacement
Partial knee replacement surgery removes damaged tissue and bone in the knee joint. The areas are replaced with a man-made implant, called a prosthetic.
Before surgery, you will be given medicine that blocks pain (anesthesia). You will have one of two anesthesia types:
- General anesthesia. You will be asleep and pain-free during the procedure.
- Regional (spinal or epidural) anesthesia. You will be numb below your waist. You will also get medicines to make you relax or feel sleepy.
The surgeon will make a cut over your knee. This cut is about 3 to 5 inches (7.5 to 13 centimeters) long.
- Next, the surgeon looks at the entire knee joint. If there is damage to more than one part of your knee, you may need a total knee replacement. Most of the time this is not needed, because tests done before the procedure would have shown this damage.
- The damaged bone and tissue are removed.
- A part made from plastic and metal is placed into the knee.
- Once the part is in the proper place, it is attached with bone cement.
- The wound is closed with stitches.