A partial knee replacement is surgery intended to repair only one side of the knee (the medial side). This procedure is performed in patients with only limited knee arthritis, known as medial compartment arthritis. Some advantages of a partial knee replacement are that it removes 75% less bone and cartilage, is less painful, enables a more rapid recovery, and provides more natural motion when compared to a total knee replacement.
By retaining all of the undamaged parts, the knee joint after partial knee replacement may bend and function more naturally. Knee osteoarthritis usually occurs first in the medial (inside) portion of the joint. In knees that are otherwise healthy, a partial knee implant procedure can preserve the healthy bone, cartilage, and ligaments, potentially preventing or delaying the need for total knee replacement.
According to the literature, patients receiving a partial knee replacement at early follow-up are: 1) twice as likely to report that their knee felt normal compared to total knee replacement and 2) almost three times more likely to be satisfied with their ability to perform activities of daily living. Long term clinical results have demonstrated a 92.4% survivorship at 10 years and 91% at 20 years. There is no guarantee that any implant will successfully function for a specific length of time, as there are a multitude of variables that affect the life of an implant.
Not all patients are candidates for a partial knee replacement. You should discuss your condition and treatment options with your surgeon.