Unicondylar knee replacement is also known as unicompartmental knee replacement. It’s a less invasive alternative to a total knee replacement and is used to return mobility and alleviate pain in the patient’s knee.
Unicondylar knee replacement is more often performed on younger, more active patients who aren’t ready for a total knee replacement. It’s also used on arthritis patients who have damage to only part of the knee.
Unicondylar knee replacement removes and replaces only a portion of the knee damaged by arthritis or wear from overuse. It involves making an incision near the damaged area and removing the part of the bone that’s damaged, usually on the lower femur (thigh bone) and upper tibia (shin bone). The damaged portion is replaced by prosthetic material designed to make the joint move smoother.
Patients often have less scarring, shorter recovery times, and a better range of motion after this surgery. Recovery time is usually 6-8 weeks and will include physical therapy, often for several months.