Unicondylar Knee Replacement

The decision to proceed with Knee Replacement surgery is a cooperative one between you, your surgeon, family and your local doctor.

The benefits following surgery are relief of symptoms of arthritis. These include:

Unicondylar Knee Replacement simply means that only a part of the knee joint is replaced through a smaller incision than would normally be used for a total knee replacement.

Unicondylar Knee Replacements have been performed since the early 1970’s with mixed success. Over the last 25 years implant design, instrumentation and surgical technique have improved markedly making it a very successful procedure for unicompartmental arthritis. Recent advances allow us to perform this through a smaller incision and therefore is not as traumatic to the knee making recovery quicker.

Benefits of Unicondylar Knee Replacement

  • Severe pain that limits your everyday activities including walking, shopping, visiting friends, getting in and out of chair, gardening, etc.
  • Pain waking you at night
  • Deformity- either bowleg or knock knees
  • Stiffness

Need for Surgery

Persons who can benefit from this type of joint resurfacing are usually age 55 and older and show one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain while standing
  • Pain while walking
  • Pain changing position, such as sitting to standing
  • Persistent knee swelling
  • Giving out or locking of the knee
  • Failure of the knee to respond to medication and injections
  • Ideally should be over 50 years of age
  • When pain and restricted mobility interferes with your lifestyle
  • One compartment involved clinically and confirmed on X-ray

Advantages of Unicondylar Knee Replacement

  • Smaller operation
  • Smaller incision
  • Not as much bone removed
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Shorter recovery period
  • Blood transfusion rarely required
  • Better movement in the knee
  • Feels more like a normal knee
  • Less need for physiotherapy
  • Able to be more active than after a total knee replacement Efficiency
  • Quadriceps sparing
  • Better cosmesis
  • Special instrumentation

Surgical Techniques

  • Each knee is individual and knee replacements take this into account by having different sizes for your knee. If there is more than the usual amount of bone loss sometimes extra pieces of metal or bone are added
  • Surgery is performed under sterile conditions in the operating room under spinal or general anaesthesia. You will be on your back and a tourniquet applied to your upper thigh to reduce blood loss. Surgery will take approximately two hours
  • The Patient is positioned on the operating table and the leg prepped and draped
  • A tourniquet is applied to the upper thigh and the leg is prepared for the surgery with a sterilizing solution
  • An incision around 7cm is made to expose the knee joint
  • The bone ends of the femur and tibia are prepared using a saw or a burr
  • Trial components are then inserted to make sure they fit properly
  • The real components (Femoral & Tibial) are then put into place with or without cement
  • The knee is then carefully closed and drains usually inserted, and the knee dressed and bandaged operation
  • Computer Assisted Surgery

    A growing number of surgeons are using camera-computer systems to help them apply their skills to the utmost advantage for patients undergoing joint replacement. The goal is to assist surgeons to operate with smaller incisions and greater precision.

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  • TruMatch® Personalized Solutions

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  • Unicondylar Knee Replacement

    Unicondylar Knee Replacement simply means that only a part of the knee joint is replaced through a smaller incision than would normally be used for a total knee replacement.Unicondylar Knee Replacements have been performed since the early 1970’s with mixed success.