Uni-compartmental knee replacement is a partial knee replacement. This technique is indicated when only a small area of your knee is deteriorated. Partial knee replacement surgery is very attractive as it is bone-preserving (ease for potential further revision surgery), ligament preserving (for the best functional outcome), knee anatomy preserving (for optimal clinical outcome), very safe (lowest rate of infection and other peri-operative complications, less blood loss), and with a very fast postoperative recovery. Patients are usually on their feet walking within few hours of the surgery and stay in a hospital for 1 to 3 days.
While partial knee replacement surgery has been shown to be a very safe and efficient option to treat focal osteoarthritis, it carries a greater risk of revision surgery compared to a primary total knee replacement. This is mainly because partial knee replacement is easily convertible to a total knee replacement pushing surgeons to not tolerate sub-optimal outcomes with partial knee replacement. This increased revision rate used to be considered as a drawback, however, it reflects, in fact, a real strength of partial knee replacement surgery which is to dispose of a reliable treatment to solve a potential complication. This is less true for total knee replacement.
Partial knee replacement surgery is only appropriate where the arthritis is isolated to one compartment of the knee. If you are eligible for a partial knee replacement, Charles will always offer you the choice between a partial and total knee replacement.