Partial (or unicompartmental) knee replacement is the surgical replacement of part of the knee joint.

Partial/unicompartmental knee replacement is a newer procedure than total knee replacement, and has been added to the armamentarium for those patients where the arthritis is restricted to one compartment

'Uni' = 'one'. 'Compartment' = a functional area of the knee.

So a unicompartmental knee replacement is one which replaces only one of the three compartments of the knee:

  • the joint on the inner (medial) side ('medial compartment')
  • the joint on the outer (lateral) side ('lateral compartment')
  • the joint under the kneecap ('patello-femoral compartment')

Thus one can have -

 

Tibiofemoral replacement

The two parts of the implant replace the articulating surface of femur and tibia.

 

Patellofemoral replacement (resurfacing)

The two parts of the prosthesis replace the articulating surface of femur and patella.

 

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