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If your knee pain is severe or prevents you from standing or walking, please call New York City’s innovative knee surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik immediately and have someone drive you to our office for a consultation.

What is a Partial Knee Replacement Surgery?

Partial knee replacement surgery, often called unicompartmental knee replacement, is an orthopedic procedure where one of the compartments of the knee is replaced with an artificial component in order to relieve pain and return the joint to its proper function.

Overall, there are more than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries performed in the US each year, but less than 10% of them are partial knee replacements (a total knee replacement surgery is most common).

There are three major compartments of the knee:

  • Medial compartment (inside)
  • Lateral compartment (outside)
  • Patellofemoral compartment (front)

During partial knee replacement surgery, the arthritic or diseased compartment is removed involves removing and replacing it with an artificial metal or plastic component. The healthy compartments are not touched.

Since the healthy portions of the knee are kept intact with a partial knee replacement, patients often recover quicker, with less pain.

Types of Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

There are three different ways a knee surgeon can perform a partial knee replacement surgery:

  • Traditional Knee Replacement Surgery – The legacy approach to knee replacement surgery requires a 12” vertical incision across the knee joint. This approach requires cutting into the quadriceps tendon and requires about 12 weeks of recovery time.
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery – The more modern approach to knee replacement surgery requires only a 3 – 4” vertical incision across the knee joint. This approach requires less cutting and trauma, resulting in quicker recovery times, with less pain.
  • Computer Assisted Surgery – The computer assisted surgery approach is the latest in surgical procedures. With computer assisted knee replacement surgery, a computer helps the surgeon align the knee components more precisely, while requiring a smaller incision and a quicker recovery time.

Today’s partial knee replacement surgeries are increasingly complex and safe, but are not without their complications. In order to the determine the best treatment option for you, Dr. Vigdorchik carefully considers your condition, medical history, lifestyle, and personal preferences.

Partial Knee Replacement Recovery

The recovery experience after undergoing a partial knee replacement will vary based on a number of factors including your age, lifestyle and the type of partial knee replacement surgery elected.

In general, the recovery time for a partial knee replacement is quicker than for a total knee replacement.

After surgery, you should expect to spend anywhere from three to five days in the hospital. Upon discharge from the hospital, you should be able to move in and out of bed, walk moderate distances with the help of crutches and achieve 90 degree range of motion with your knee joint.

Once out of the hospital you will be put on a rehabilitation and therapy program for the next four to six months to regain strength, stability and full range of motion. About six weeks after surgery, you should be able to stop using crutches and resume normal walking activities.

It may take up to three months for pain and swelling to subside. It can take up to a year for any leg swelling to disappear completely.

Partial Knee Replacement Articles

Learn more about partial knee replacement surgery with these educational articles from New York City knee surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik:

Call Us Immediately

If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms of knee pain below, please call New York City knee surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik immediately to schedule an appointment. If left untreated, knee pain often become more severe over time and can cause further knee joint dysfunction.

  • Sudden, severe pain and swelling in and around the knee joint
  • A loud pop when the knee joint was injured
  • Inability to put weight on your leg or move your knee