Minimally Invasive Unicompartmental (Partial) Replacement
When only one side of the knee joint is affected by arthritis it may be possible to replace only the side affected rather than the whole knee (Unicompartmental knee replacement). This can be performed through a much shorter and less painful incision by the use of MINIMALLY INVASIVE (MI) techniques. The affected surfaces are removed and relined with metal implants and a mobile polyethylene spacer is inserted between the implants.
The effect of a shorter incision and MI techniques is a much shorter stay in hospital, a quicker recovery and normally a better range of motion in the knee. Unfortunately it is not suitable for all people with single sided arthritis. For example, a person with arthritis on the inside of the knee who wishes to continue working in a heavy job would do better with an osteotomy of the tibia whereas the same person in a sedentary job may do better with a unicompartmental knee replacement.