Patient Education

To help you understand and navigate through your orthopedic health decisions, we have created a patient education section. Please select from one of the categories below to learn more about your condition or procedure.
Knee Replacement – Partial

Partial knee replacement, also known as unicompartmental knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves replacing only the damaged compartment of the knee joint. This procedure is typically recommended for patients with osteoarthritis that is confined to a single compartment of the knee.

  • Osteoarthritis: Localized to one compartment of the knee (medial, lateral, or patellofemoral).
  • Failed Conservative Treatments: Non-surgical treatments (medications, physical therapy) have not provided sufficient relief.
  • Symptoms: Significant pain and impaired knee function affecting quality of life.
  • Activity Level: Typically for patients who are older and less active but still wish to maintain an active lifestyle.

Common Symptoms

  • Persistent pain localized to one part of the knee.
  • Swelling and stiffness in the knee.
  • Limited range of motion.
  • Difficulty performing daily activities.
  • Bowing in or out of the leg.

Preoperative Evaluation

Medical History and Physical Examination:

  • Detailed assessment of symptoms, medical history, and knee function.

Imaging Tests:

  • X-rays to evaluate the extent and location of the arthritis.
  • MRI or CT scans in some cases to assess the condition of the knee’s soft tissues and cartilage.



  • The patient is given anesthesia (general or spinal).
  • The knee is cleaned and sterilized.


  • A small incision is made over the affected compartment of the knee.

Exposing the Joint:

  • The surgeon exposes the damaged compartment of the knee.


  • The damaged bone and cartilage are removed from the affected compartment.

Implant Placement:

  • Metal and plastic components are implanted to replace the damaged areas.


  • The incision is closed with sutures or staples.
  • A sterile bandage is applied.

Recovery – Immediate Postoperative Care

Pain Management:

  • Medications for pain relief.

Ice and Elevation:

  • Apply ice packs and keep the knee elevated to reduce swelling.

Bandages and Dressings:

  • Keep the surgical site clean and dry.


Physical Therapy:

  • A structured rehabilitation program to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • Exercises to improve knee stability and function.


  • Early mobilization with weight-bearing as tolerated.
  • Use of crutches or a walker initially, transitioning to full weight-bearing as strength improves.

Gradual Return to Activities:

  1. Gradual reintroduction of normal activities and low-impact sports as per the surgeon’s advice.

Risks & Complications

  • Infection: Risk of infection at the surgical site.
  • Blood Clots: Risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • Implant Loosening or Failure: Long-term wear and tear or improper placement can lead to loosening or failure.
  • Nerve or Blood Vessel Injury: Rare but possible damage to surrounding structures.
  • Stiffness or Reduced Range of Motion: Limited range of motion post-surgery.
  • Persistent Pain: Ongoing discomfort in some cases.


  • Less Invasive: Smaller incision and less bone removal compared to total knee replacement.
  • Faster Recovery: Quicker recovery time and return to normal activities.
  • Improved Knee Function: Effective relief from pain and improved knee function.
  • Preservation of Healthy Tissue: Retains more of the patient’s natural bone and tissue.


How long is the recovery time after partial knee replacement?
Recovery time varies, but most patients can return to normal activities within 4-6 weeks. Full recovery and return to more strenuous activities may take several months.

Will I need physical therapy after partial knee replacement?
Yes, physical therapy is essential to restore knee function, strength, and flexibility.

Can I kneel or squat after partial knee replacement?
Many patients can kneel or squat after recovery, but it depends on individual factors and rehabilitation progress.

How long will the partial knee replacement last?
Partial knee replacements can last 10-15 years or longer, depending on factors such as activity level and body weight.

Are there activities I should avoid after partial knee replacement?
High-impact activities, such as running or jumping, should be avoided to prolong the life of the implant. Low-impact activities like swimming, cycling, and walking are encouraged.

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