Dr. Basavaraj C M- Best Orthopedic Surgeon

Partial Knee Replacement

Knee replacement

Partial Knee Replacement


The knee which is capable of bending, stretching, and turning is made up of 3 parts, namely –

  • Medial Compartment (inner part of the knee joint)
  • Lateral Compartment (outer part of the knee joint)
  • Patellofemoral Compartment (saddle joint present between the kneecap and its groove on the femur)

Knee joint damage can involve either one part of the knee joint or two or the whole knee. Today, the availability of uniquely developed implants and surgical techniques enable the Othropaedic surgeon to treat the knee joint depending on the knee joint damage. So, partial knee replacement surgery is a replacement of a damaged part of the knee joint (one or two parts) rather than the whole knee. Either the medial (inner) or lateral (outer) or knee cap part can be replaced.

Knee replacement

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

The replacement implant is made up of metal (cobalt/titanium/oxium) and designed to mimic the movement of the natural knee joint movement. A plastic insert is placed between the metals for smooth movement.

Radiological imaging like X-Ray & MRI scans will be recommended for a better understanding of the bone, joint, and soft tissue conditions and for working out the proper treatment plan.

Benefits of Partial Knee Replacement Surgery:

  • Smaller incision resulting in less blood loss, faster healing & recovery
  • Regaining mobility
  • Resumption of normalcy and independency in life
  • Retaining or preserving the natural healthy part of the knee joint

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure Details:

  • Incision at the site of the surgery
  • Removal of the damaged compartment of the knee joint
  • Preparation of the bone surfaces for the implant replacement
  • Fixing the implant to the prepared bone surface with or without cement
  • Placement of plastic insert between the metal components of the implant
  • Restoration of the bone, muscles, and related tissues to their original position
  • Closure of the incision
  • Anaesthesia and nerve block will be given for successful surgery and pain management

Frequently Asked Questions

. When the patient does not get benefited from following solutions then one should consider the replacement surgery –

  • Physiotherapy alone is not effective in relieving pain
  • Ultrasound or IFT or massages offers short-lived relief
  • Mobility restriction

After the surgery, the patient will be shifted to the recovery room where the patient’s vital are monitored and pain is managed. From the next day, the patient will be encouraged to foot and ankle movements in order to increase the blood flow in leg muscles, and prevent blood clots and swelling in the knee region.

The patient will be discharged in 2-3 days depending upon his/her recovery progress with instructions on physiotherapy-related activities, medication, food intake, and review visit. The patient will be able to regain daily activities without any dependency by 4-8 weeks of post-surgery. 

For regaining functionality of the knee and mobility, a set of rehabilitation-related activities are recommended. The no. of activities and duration of each activity gets increased or modified depending upon the recovery progress. The activities are like –

  • Quadriceps Sets
  • Raising straightened legs
  • Ankle Pumps
  • Knee Straightening Exercises
  • Bed-Supported Knee Bends
  • Stair Climbing and Descending
  • Standing Knee Bends
  • Exercycling

The pre-surgery preparations involve many things and can be viewed under segments –

  • Intake of Iron/Multi-vitamins & mineral supplements for boosting the patient’s health and immunity
  • Investigative laboratory tests – blood tests including blood cross-matching (in case a blood transfusion is required), ECG, and Chest X-Ray
  • In case of medical insurance claims, submission of documents for approval and payment clearance
  • Presence of near dear ones for motivation and emotional support to the patient during the hospital stay and at home after discharge
  • Organizing a nurse & physiotherapist for home care and rehabilitation after discharge


Though it is very safe surgery, some of the reported risks are –

  • Infection or blood clots at the incision site
  • Joint stiffness
  • Implant-related complaints like early wearing down / loosening
  • Surgical scar
  • Anaesthesia-related risk
  • Need for additional surgery


. After discharge, one should report to the surgeon or hospital immediately in case –

  • Fever/chest pain/shortness of breath
  • Any leakage/bleeding/swelling in the surgery site
  • Worsening of pain in the surgery site/joint/calf region


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