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Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) is surgery to replace either the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) compartments of the knee.
Because only part of the damaged knee is replaced, it is often called a partial knee replacement.
See also: Total knee replacement
Partial knee replacement; Knee replacement - partial; Unicondylar knee replacement; Arthroplasty - unicompartmental knee; UKA; Minimally invasive partial knee replacement
You may receive general anesthesia before this surgery. This means you will be unconscious and unable to feel pain. Or you may receive spinal or epidural anesthesia. Medicine is put into your back to make you numb below your waist.
Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty uses smaller surgical cuts than those required for a total knee replacement. The surgeon will make a small cut about 3 inches long over the knee that is damaged.
Next, the surgeon examines the entire inner knee area to determine the amount of damage. If there is a lot of damage, you may need a total knee replacement. Most of the time, however, this is not necessary.
The damaged bone is removed and replaced with an implant (prosthetic) made of plastic and metal. The thigh and shin bone may be slightly shaped to fit the implant. Once the implant is in the proper place, it is secured with bone cement, and the wound is closed with stitches.
Your health care provider will usually try medicine, injections, and physical therapy for 6 months before considering surgery.
Your doctor may recommend this procedure if you have severe arthritis (osteoarthritis) in one side of one knee, which causes the following symptoms:
Your doctor may also recommend this procedure if you have:
Risks for anesthesia include:
Risks for any surgery include:
Risks for UKA include:
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking; even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
Most patients go home the day after surgery. You can put your full weight on your knee immediately. There is usually less rehabilitation or physical therapy required compared to total knee replacement.
After surgery, you will be encouraged to do as much as you can for yourself. This includes going to the bathroom or taking walks in the hallways, always with someone helping you.
Most people do not need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home.
Most patients have a rapid recovery and have considerably less pain than they did before surgery.
Many patients are able to walk without a cane or walker by 1 - 2 weeks after surgery.
Most forms of exercise are acceptable after surgery, including walking, swimming, and biking. However, you should avoid high-impact activities such as jogging.
Crockarell JR, Guyton JL. Arthroplasty of the knee. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, ed. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2007:chap 6.
Berger RA, Meneghini RM, Jacobs JJ, et al. Results of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty at a minimum of ten years of follow-up. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005;87(5):999-1006.
Patil S, Colwell CW Jr, Ezzet KA, et al. Can normal knee kinematics be restored with unicompartmental knee replacement? J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2005;87(2):332-338.