What is Partial Knee Replacement?

It may be comforting to know that more than 90% of individuals who undergo knee replacement have much less knee pain and are better able to do all the activities they enjoy after recovery. Knee replacement surgery is a common procedure considered successful in relieving pain and restoring knee function.1

You and your doctor will analyze whether surgery is the right option for you, looking at your general health, lifestyle and how well non-surgical treatments have worked for you.

A partial knee replacement may be an option for some patients where the arthritis affects only one side of the knee (usually the inner side). Also called uni-compartmental replacement, partial knee surgery replaces the damaged bone with an artificial device, or implant, while the healthy cartilage and bone remain untouched.

During a partial knee replacement, your surgeon makes an incision and examines the damage inside your knee to ensure that a uni-compartmental procedure is the right approach. If this is the case, your surgeon will then proceed with removing the damaged or diseased cartilage and bone and replacing them with metal and plastic implants. The type and style of implant will depend on your needs. Your surgeon may opt to use digital templating software to help pre-operatively plan your operation and calculate which implant is best for you.

The metal component in your new artificial joint replaces the surgically removed bone and the plastic or polyethylene component functions in place of the cartilage that was removed during surgery. The whole procedure is designed to help restore alignment and function to your knee.

Talk to your doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of partial knee arthroplasty, and whether this is an option for your condition.

Understand software-guided knee surgery »
Prepare for the before and after of knee surgery »
Explore digital templating software »


1 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS)