A traditional total knee replacement is by far more common than a partial knee replacement surgery. By the time most people seek attention for their knee pain, more than one area or compartment in the knee is involved. The knee joint has three compartments: inner, outer and kneecap. If your knee arthritis is either on the inside or outside of the knee only, you may be a candidate for partial knee replacement surgery.
Some patients may qualify for a partial knee replacement surgery, if only a portion of their knee is affected by arthritis, and then they must be selected carefully.
Partial knee replacement surgery still requires a femur component and tibial tray with the plastic insert. It is usually less than half the size of a full knee replacement. The surgical incision may be smaller as well. Some of the benefits include ligament preservation, allowing better range of motion and faster recovery. Partial knee replacement longevity is similar to that of a total knee replacement surgery. It can also be converted to a full knee replacement in the future if the non-replaced compartment deteriorates.