Treatment Information

The Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

total knee replacement

Total knee replacement surgery, or total knee arthroplasty is a safe and effective procedure for damaged knees from arthritis and injuries. The procedure will correct leg deformities, relieve pain, restore motion and help you regain the ability to resume normal activities again. What we like to say here in Singapore is to have the knee fixed with a “spare part”.

Knee replacement was first performed in 1968. Since then, significant improvements have been made in surgical materials, biomechanical engineering and surgical techniques. These have greatly increased the effectiveness and success of the procedure. During surgery, an orthopaedic surgeon removes the damaged part of the knee and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal or plastic. The artificial joint is then attached to the thigh bone, shin, and kneecap with a special acrylic cement.

What is is the Unicompartment Knee Replacement?

unicompartment knee replacement model

A model of a Unicompartment Knee Replacement on the Left

In a unicompartment knee replacement, only a portion of the knee is resurfaced. The rest of the knee and its ligaments are left intact. This type of surgery is an alternative to the total knee replacement in a select group of patients where the disease (arthritis) is limited to just one region of the knee. The surgery is done through a much smaller incision and patients get to enjoy a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery when compared to a total knee replacement.

  • Advantages of the unicompartment knee replacement

    The main advantages of a partial knee replacement (or a unicompartment knee replacement) are:

    1. Smaller incision
    2. Less pain
    3. Less blood loss
    4. Shorter hospital stays
    5. Quicker recovery

    Because the healthy regions of the knee are left intact, including the cartilage, bones and ligaments, many patients find that the knee feels more natural compared to a total knee replacement. The knee can also flex better and move more naturally.

    It is important to note that there may be potential for surgery in the future if the healthy parts of the knee become affected by arthritis.

  • The Surgery Process and Expectations

    The surgery process is similar to that of a total knee replacement. Although the surgical incision is smaller and recovery process is much quicker than that of a total knee replacement, a period of rehabilitation is just as essential. Most patients will be fit to return home on the 3rd day after surgery. Rehabilitation therapy is during the hospital stay and is continued on an outpatient basis.

    The knee implant is an artificial joint and is subjected to wear and tear, similar to that of a total knee replacement. Excessive activities or high impact activities can accelerate the wear of the joint and cause it to loosen and trigger pain.

More information about complications from surgery and other details can be found in the section of Total Knee Replacement. They are similar.

Dr Lee is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in total knee replacement. He will assess your condition and advise the best form of treatment for your condition. With proper treatment, patients can often return to their pre- injury levels.

To make an appointment, please call 6735 0081 or click here to email us.