It is critical to recognize that arthritis affects each individual uniquely. A subset of patients will have isolated knee arthritis rather than more extensive changes. To review, the knee is compromised of three major compartments. In some forms of arthritis, only one of these compartments is damaged while the other two remain healthy and pain-free. In such patients, partial knee replacement (also known as Unicompartmental knee replacement) is an appropriate option.
Partial knee replacement targets resurfacing of only the damaged area while preserving healthier portions of native cartilage and ligaments. The best candidates are those close to their ideal body weight with isolated knee arthritis, localized pain, minimal deformity, good motion, and without an associated inflammatory disease. Studies in these patients have found that unicompartmental knee replacement offers predictable pain relief, quick recovery, improved motion and may last as long as traditional total knee replacement.
Although UKA was a controversial procedure when it was first introduced about 30 years ago, current success rates have improved significantly with precise patient selection, refined surgical techniques and improved implant design.
Partial knee replacement represents a key part of our Minimally Invasive Surgery program. It provides definitive treatment of painful knee arthritis while significantly easing the recovery process. Through a smaller incision and with much less pain and blood loss, partial knee replacement is ideal for those who need or want to get back on their feet as quickly and efficiently as possible. The operation lasts about an hour, and our patients usually home within 1 to 2 days. Blood transfusions are rarely, if ever, necessary.
Our surgeons are specially trained in this procedure, and we are proud to be one of only a few centers in New York State offering this minimally invasive surgical alternative.