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Unicompartmental/Partial Knee Replacement

Dr.Okoroha

Unicompartmental/Partial Knee Replacement Surgeon

Unicompartmental knee replacement is a minimally invasive surgery in which only the damaged compartment of the knee is replaced with an implant. It is also called a partial knee replacement. Unicompartmental knee replacement surgeon, Dr. Kelechi Okoroha provides diagnosis and individualized non-operative and operative treatment plans in Detroit. He also provides highly specialized care during and after the surgery. Contact Dr. Okoroha’s team for an appointment today!

Disease Overview of Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint that causes pain, swelling (inflammation) and stiffness.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee arthritis, in which the joint cartilage gradually wears away. It most often affects older people. In a normal joint, articular cartilage allows for smooth movement within the joint, whereas in an arthritic knee the cartilage itself becomes thinner or completely absent. In addition, the bones become thicker around the edges of the joint and may form bony spurs. These factors can cause pain and restricted range of motion in the joint.

Diagnosis of Arthritis

Dr. Okoroha will diagnose osteoarthritis based on your medical history, physical examination, and X-rays. X-rays typically show a narrowing of joint space in the arthritic knee.

Treatment for Arthritis

There are many treatments indicated for arthritis – both conservative and surgical. Dr. Okoroha will discuss the best option depending on your individual condition.

What is Unicompartmental Knee Replacement?

Unicompartmental knee replacement is a minimally invasive surgery in which only the damaged compartment of the knee is replaced with an implant. It is also called a partial knee replacement.

The knee can be divided into three compartments: patellofemoral, the compartment in front of the knee between the kneecap and thighbone, the medial compartment, on the inside portion of the knee, and lateral compartment which is the area on the outside portion of the knee joint.

Indications of Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

Traditionally, total knee replacement was commonly indicated for severe osteoarthritis of the knee. In total knee replacement, all worn out or damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced with new artificial parts. Partial knee replacement is a surgical option if your arthritis is confined to a single compartment of your knee.

Dr. Okoroha may also recommend surgery if non-surgical treatment options such as medications, injections, and physical therapy have failed to relieve the symptoms.

Surgical Procedure of Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

During the surgery, a small incision is made over the knee to expose the knee joint. eon will remove only the damaged part of the meniscus and place the implant into the bone by slightly shaping the shinbone and the thighbone. The plastic component is placed into the newly prepared area and secured with bone cement. Now, the damaged region of the femur or thighbone is removed to accommodate the new metal component, which is fixed in place using bone cement. Once the femoral and tibial components are fixed in proper place the knee is taken through a range of movements. The muscles and tendons are then repaired and the incision is closed.

Postoperative Care Following Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

You may walk with the help of a walker or cane for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery. A physical therapist will introduce you to an exercise program to follow for 4 to 6 months to help maintain range of motion and restore your strength. You may perform exercises such as walking, swimming, and biking but high impact activities such as jogging should be avoided.

Risks and Complications Following Surgery for Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

The possible risks and complications associated with unicompartmental knee replacement include:

  • Knee stiffness
  • Infection
  • Blood clots (Deep vein thrombosis)
  • Nerve and blood vessel damage
  • Ligament injuries
  • Patella (kneecap) dislocation
  • Wearing of the plastic liner
  • Loosening of the implant
  • Advantages of Unicompartmental Knee Replacement

The advantages of unicompartmental knee replacement over total knee replacement include:

  • Smaller incision
  • Less blood loss
  • Quick recovery
  • Less postoperative pain
  • Better overall range of motion
  • Feels more like a natural knee

If you would like to have additional information on knee treatments or would like to learn more about unicompartmental/partial knee replacement, please contact the office of Dr. Okoroha, unicompartmental knee replacement surgeon serving the communities of Detroit, Royal Oak, Sterling Heights, Bloomfield Hills, Dearborn, Michigan, and beyond.