Unicompartment Knee Replacement
The knee joint is made up of the Medial Compartment, the Lateral compartment and the patello-femoral joint.
When only one compartment of the knee joint is involved then it is possible to perform a Unicompartmental Knee Replacement or partial knee replacement whereby only the involved part is replaced and the rest of the natural joint is maintained.
The decision to perform a Unicompartmental surgery is the surgeons and is purely dependent on the status of the knee at the time that you visit the Orthopaedic OPD for a knee pain which is interfering with your normally active lifestyle.
The surgeon may suggest a Unicompartmental Knee Replacement to you and you may decide to defer surgery and try conservative means of treatment i.e. physiotherapy etc. At this point it is important to remember that when you decide to go back to the surgeon one year later for the same problem he may not be able to offer the same treatment to you because by then it is possible that all three compartments of your joint may be involved because of inadequate treatment.
The advantage of Unicompartmental Knee Replacement or Partial Knee Replacement is:
a. Pain relief in normal day to day activities-it reduces the intake of painkiller medicines which have a lot of side effects i.e. gastritis and nephrotoxicity (kidney damage) After undergoing a UKR you would be able to lead a normal active life without any pain, discomfort or major restrictions in lifestyle .
b. Arrests the progress of the degenerative process which could rapidly involve the entire joint.
c. Every artifical joint has a life of about twenty five years- a timely done Partial Replacement could effectively defer your total knee replacement surgery and also reduce the number of surgical procedures that you may have to undergo in the future.