This is a new procedure which of late was gained popularity due to its success rate. A large proportion of patients have severe arthritis affecting only one half of the knee joint. The other half is normal. Why replace a part which is not affected. Only the affected half of the knee joint is replaced. Following the procedure patients can be made to walk quickly and leave the hospital in a couple of days. The rehabilitation is much faster than the total knee replacement.
A partial knee replacement is an alternative to total knee replacement for some people with osteoarthritis of the knee. This surgery can be done when the damage is confined to a particular compartment of the knee. In a partial knee replacement, only the damaged part of the knee cartilage is replaced with a prosthesis. Once partial knee replacement was reserved for older patients who were involved in few activities. Now partial knee replacement is often done in younger people as their recovery is quicker and usually less painful. About 5% to 6% of people with arthritic knees are estimated to be eligible for partial knee replacement.
Compared to total knee replacement, partial knee replacement better preserves range of motion and knee function because it preserves healthy tissue and bone in the knee. For these reasons, patients tend to be more satisfied with partial knee replacement compared with total knee replacement. They are still candidates for total knee replacement should they ever need it in the future.
There is also less blood loss during surgery, and knee motion recovers faster with partial knee replacement.