A painful knee can severely affect your ability to lead a full, active life. Over the last few decades, major advancements in artificial knee replacement have improved the outcome of the surgery greatly. One of the more recent advances in knee replacement surgery is the unicompartmental knee replacement which is also known as a unicondylar knee replacement surgery.Osteoarthritis resulting from “wear and tear” is the most common reason individuals need to undergo knee replacement surgery. In some of the cases the osteoarthritis may not affect all the compartments of a knee joint. This is usually the early stage of osteoarthritis in the knee joint and is called as Unicompartmental Osteoarthritis.
In a partial knee replacement surgery or a uni-condylar knee replacement surgery, the entire knee joint is not replaced, like it is done in a total knee replacement surgery. In a uni-condylar knee replacement, only the affected or severely damaged part of the knee joint is replaced sparing the other parts of the knee joint. This procedure provides lasting pain relief in the middle aged patients who have to wait for a total knee replacement.
In most of the patients, surgery is opted for when the arthritis reaches advanced stage and the pain becomes unbearable. In such a situation partial knee replacement becomes almost impossible. Generally patients delay surgery thinking that it is the last resort and should be opted for when the pain becomes severe.Partial Knee Replacement is ideal for the younger patient in the age group of 40-50 years with unicompartmental arthritis. Partial Knee Replacement is indicated when all the conservative methods fail to treat severe arthritis of one compartment of the knee joint. It has to be noted that if the arthritis is widespread then the partial knee replacement may not be appropriate and should not be considered.
It is a less invasive surgery with smaller incision: In a unicondylar or partial knee replacement surgery the incision is about three inches and the amount of dissection and the bone removal is much smaller.
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