When only the inner (medial) side of the knee has worn down with advanced arthritis, and the remainder of the knee has little wear with intact structural ligaments, this may be an opportunity to replace only this damaged medial compartment of the knee. This procedure is called partial or unicompartmental knee replacement and is now a popular and scientifically supported method of resolving the arthritic pain of only the inner aspect of the knee. The majority of patients with knee arthritis do not qualify for unicompartmental knee replacements as they have worn away too much of their knee joint for this lesser surgery to be successful. In fact only about 10% of patients seen are typically candidates for this procedure.
Those select patients who do qualify for this unique solution to their knee pain get a short 3″ incision over the medial aspect of their knee, are taught to walk with a walker or crutches in the recovery room and then go home the same day. Most physically fit patients are walking with only a cane in just a few days to a week after unicompartmental knee surgery and are usually able to return to full activity within a few weeks after surgery.
We have more information on unicompartmental knee replacement on our website.