Unicompartmental Knee Replacement (UKR), also referred to as partial knee resurfacing, is a procedure where only the affected part of the knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint instead of the entire knee joint as in total knee arthroplasty. This procedure is usually done for patients who have arthritis in one compartment of the knee only.

Key Points about UKR Surgery:

1. Indications:
– Usually advised for patients who have osteoarthritis affecting only a particular region of the knee joint.
– Indicated for individuals with normal flexibility, strong ligaments and stable knee.
– Usually recommended for patients who are not very obese.

2. Procedure:
– The surgery involves the removal of the damaged cartilage and bone from the affected part of the knee.
– A prosthetic is then inserted, which is commonly made of metal and plastic.
– The other compartments of the knee (medial, lateral, and patellofemoral) are not disturbed if they are normal.

3. Benefits:
– A less invasive procedure than total knee replacement, therefore the recovery time is shorter.
– Less restriction of the natural knee movement.
– Less invasive, less discomfort, and maybe even fewer risks.
– Reduced duration of hospitalization and faster resumption of routine life.

4. Risks:
– Like any other surgery, it has its complications including infection, blood clots, and those resulting from anesthesia.
– There is a possibility that arthritis may worsen in the other compartments of the knee and may require a total knee replacement in the future.

5. Recovery:
– It is common for patients to be mobilized soon after surgery in this type of procedure.
– Strengthening and coordination exercises may be necessary through physical therapy.
– The time it takes to fully recover and get back to normal activities may take a few weeks to a few months at most.

6. Longevity:
– UKR may be durable for several years, but they may not be as long-lasting as TKR.
– The patient should continue to see the orthopedic surgeon for periodic follow-up to assess the condition of the implant and the knee.

Post-Operative Care:

– Adhere to the surgeon’s advice on weight-bearing and physical activities.
– Engage in physical therapy to enhance strength and flexibility.
– To reduce the risk of infection, ensure that the surgical area is clean and free from moisture.
– Look for any symptoms of complications like severe pain, tenderness, or redness.


Unicompartmental Knee Replacement is a good option for patients with localized knee arthritis as it provides a faster recovery and leaves more of the natural knee joint intact than a total knee replacement. Nevertheless, proper patient selection and proper consultation with an orthopedic specialist are paramount to achieve the best results.