Unicondylar / unicompartmental knee replacement

Unicondylar / unicompartmental knee replacement

In a small percentage of the patients, the osteoarthritis is located in only one section of the knee (one compartment).

In these cases, we can perform a partial replacement of the joint.

The advantages of this method in comparison to a full replacement are:

  • Faster rehabilitation
  • Less loss of blood during and after the surgery
  • Less pain during the period of recuperation from the surgery
  • Better ranges of bending
  • In addition, patients report a more “natural” feeling after the surgery, the joint is accepted by the body more quickly, and it is possible that the reason is the preservation of the healthy section and the ligaments in the second compartment.

Disadvantages

  • Less pain relief in the long term.
  • Additional surgery might be required (if, for instance, osteoarthritis develops in the healthy compartment of the knee).

The surgery

The surgical incision for a partial replacement is shorter than for a full replacement, and is located along the knee, more in the direction of the inner section.

In the surgery, Dr. Bar Ziv will review the three compartments of the knee (inner, outer and patellofemoral), he will make sure that the disease is indeed limited to one compartment, and that there is no tear in the ligaments. In the event that the knee is not stable, Dr. Bar Ziv will decide, during the surgery, to carry out a complete replacement.

If the knee is suited to a partial replacement, the damaged surfaces of the cartilage, will be removed with the help of a special sw.

The surfaces of the cartilage will be replaced by metal plates, made of an alloy called cobalt – chromium. Between the plates, Dr. Bar Ziv will place hard, plastic (polyethylene) spacers, which will maintain smooth movement of the knee.

A sample of an implant for a partial knee replacement

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