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Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Posted on 09/24/2021 by CMRI

Partial knee replacement is a treatment option for Unicompartmental knee arthritis (a knee condition that damages only one part of the knee joint, while other compartments stay healthy).This surgical procedure involves the replacement of either the damaged inner (medial) compartment, the lateral compartment, or the patella of the knee. It is an alternative solution for people with knee osteoarthritis who are not fit for total knee replacement surgery.


Knee Osteoarthritis refers to the wearing away of the articular cartilage (a shock absorber) within the joint. As the cartilage gets worn, friction is created between two bone surfaces, leading to their damage. Due to thinning of cartilages, the knee joints get swollen, stiff, and cause pain, resulting in a limited range of motion.


Types of partial knee replacement:


  • Unicondylar knee replacement:It involves the replacement of only a single knee joint compartment i.e. either medial or lateral.
  • Bicompartmental knee replacement:This procedure replaces two damaged compartments of the knee joint that are medial and patellofemoral.
  • Patellofemoral knee replacement:In this procedure, the worn knee cap (patella) and the groove at the end of the femur (trochlea) are replaced.

Who shall consider partial knee replacement?


People who have been suffering from medial (inner compartment of the knee joint) or lateral (outer compartment of the knee joint) osteoarthritiscan consider undergoing partial knee replacement after consulting with the best orthopaedic surgeon in Kolkata. Most commonly the medial knee degeneration occurs in knee osteoarthritis that partial knee replacement can repair.


Some other factors to think about before choosing partial knee replacement includes:


  • Persistent knee pain that does not get reduced even after maintaining a healthy weight and intake of anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling of knee joints.
  • Presence of intact anterior cruciate ligament, a degeneration of only one compartment of the knee joint, and a stable knee with sufficient range of motion. Even, angulation of the knee deformity is reviewed.
  • An identified location of the knee pain as determined by X-ray of the knee.
  • The active or sedentary lifestyle of the people with knee pain and their age. Nowadays, partial knee replacement surgery is the most popular treatment among active young people.

Pre-operative preparation for partial knee replacement:


Before the surgery takes place, the doctor recommends some pre-operative tests like chest X-rays, electrocardiogram, a complete blood count, prothrombin time, or activated partial thromboplastin time (to check for blood clot), electrolytes test, and even blood-cross matching if there is a need of blood transfusion. All these tests help in determining the health of the patient and fitness for undergoing partial knee replacement.  


At the best hospital in Kolkata, Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) the expert team of orthopedic surgeon performs all types of joint replacement surgery and help the patient to improve their mobility and achieve an improved quality of life.


What happens during partial knee replacement?


During partial knee replacement, an orthopedic surgeon makes a small cut (about 3 to 4 inches deep) in the knee area to have access to the affected compartment of the knee joint. All the supporting structures of the knee are gently put aside and the damaged bone tissues or cartilage from the femur and the tibia in the arthritic knee area is taken out. Next, the surfaces of the thighbone and shinbone are prepared for joining of the prosthetic knee components constructed with metal or plastic. All the artificial implants are sized according to the required specific knee joint and after placing them, they are secured in right place using cementing materials. Lastly, the surrounding tissues and structures are put back in their original position and the incision is closed with sutures.


The entire procedure is carried out under regional anesthesia that keeps the patient awake during the surgery by numbing only the lower body. The doctors carefully monitor their patients throughout the surgery to have minimum risks or complications.


What are the benefits of partial knee replacement over total knee replacement?


The first major benefit of knee replacement is the relief from severe knee pain. In contrast to total knee replacement, partial knee replacement (as a minimally-invasive procedure) offers a lot of benefits such as:


  • The healthy knee functioning and different range of motion. These are possible because of the preservationof the healthy bones and ligaments in the knee.
  • Minimum postoperative pain and less tissue trauma.
  • Less loss of blood during surgery as deep cuts are not made.
  • The faster recovery of the motion of the knee that makes the patients highly satisfied with the procedure.
  • Faster rehabilitation of the knee after surgery.


To get the best knee replacement surgery in Kolkata, schedule an appointment with the experts at Calcutta Medical Research Institute.