Uni-Compartmental Knee Replacement

Mr Prakash Orthopaedic Knee Surgeon in Birmingham

Uni-Compartmental Knee Replacement in Birmingham

Prof Prakash specialises predominantly in knee and hip joint surgery especially for young adults (age 20-65). He routinely performs surgery related to sports injuries and arthritis and one of his key focuses is on Uni-Compartmental Knee Replacement.

mr divya prakash specialist in knee and hip surgery, specialist knee surgeon in Birmingham, UK

Uni-Compartmental Knee Replacement

Arthritis in the knee may start in either the medial (inner) or the lateral (outer) compartment. If the arthritis is limited to either of these compartments, an experienced surgeon may be able to offer the patient a partial knee replacement. It is referred to as UKR or uni-compartment knee replacement. It is a much kinder operation for the patient as much of the knee joint is left untouched, and in the correct patient is a superior operation to the total knee replacement (TKR).


The damaged parts of the knee joint are shaped to accommodate the metal prosthesis. Once the bone ends are prepared, the metal parts of the implant are fixed to them with bone cement. A very hard wearing piece of plastic is then placed between the metal parts allowing the joint to move freely.

This is a very successful operation. The chance of the prosthesis surviving for ten years being around 95%. Should the arthritis spread to other parts of the knee, or should the implant fail, it can be replaced by a total knee replacement without too much difficulty.

The advantages of a UKR (partial knee replacement) over a TKR (total knee replacement) are:

A more ‘natural’ feel of the joint
Much greater conservation of bone
Less painful immediately after surgery
A smaller incision
Much less blood loss
A shorter hospital stay (usually no more than two or three days)
The disadvantages of a partial knee replacement:

Not every patient is suitable
It should be performed only by experienced surgeons
In a small number of patients it may need to be converted to a total knee replacement eventually.

Prof Prakash’s approach: He does not place an age limit for carrying out this procedure if the patient meets the criteria; his oldest patients have been in their 80s. Occasionally arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) is performed to make sure that partial knee replacement is the best treatment for the patient, more often x-rays and MRI scans are used for decision-making.
The procedure may be performed using:
– Conventional instruments
– Robotic-arm assistance
– Patient specific instrumentation
– Custom-made prosthesis

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