Technical Aspects of Unicompartmental Knee Replacement
Partial knee replacement is done through a smaller incision and involves much less muscle dissection. Cruciate ligaments are preserved in contrast to the standard total knee replacement. The patellofemoral compartment is also untouched. The operation takes less than an hour, and patients are usually home within one to two days. Blood transfusions are rarely if ever necessary.
The technique is straightforward. An approximately 12cm incision is made just medial to the patella. The joint is opened to exposure the medial compartment. At this time, the remaining compartments are inspected to verify that they are in good condition and that partial knee replacement is an appropriate option. Image guidance X-ray is used to make sure that the components are properly mated. The components themselves are made out of titanium as well as special polymer which acts as a substitute cartilage. The components are cemented into place. This gives excellent long term fixation. At the end of the procedure, the knee is brought through a full range of motion to ensure that it is stable and well balanced.