Unicompartmental knee replacement
- Q: What is a unicompartmental knee replacement?
- G. Daxton Steele, M.D.: So partial knee replacement (or unicompartmental knee replacement) is replacing one compartment within the knee. There are three basic compartments, there's the medial, the lateral and the patellofemoral. The most common replacement we do is the medial knee replacement which makes up about 90% to 95% of partial knee replacements. Instead of replacing the whole cartilage and bone in the knee, we just replace the disease or affected cartilage within that compartment.
- Q: What kinds of patients qualify for a unicompartmental knee replacement?
- G. Daxton Steele, M.D.: Well, it's a clinical and radiographic examination that determines whether you're a good candidate for a partial or total knee replacement. Basically, if your arthritis is isolated to one of those compartments and your symptoms are consistent with that same type of arthritis, you're usually a candidate for a partial knee replacement as opposed to a total knee replacement.
- Q: What can a patient expect when they have a unicompartmental knee replacement?
- G. Daxton Steele, M.D.: Traditionally the pain associated with the partial knee replacement is a little less than that with a total knee replacement due to some of the soft tissue dissection that we have to do and the manipulation of the knee. The outcomes in the long run or very similar and patient’s do about the same, but in the short term, there's definitely a little less pain and it's a little easier to get through the rehab process with a partial knee replacement as opposed to a total knee replacement.
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