Uni-compartmental knee replacement is a partial knee replacement. This technique is indicated when only a small area of your knee is deteriorated. Partial knee replacement surgery is very attractive as it is bone-preserving (ease for potential further revision surgery), ligament preserving (for the best functional outcome), knee anatomy preserving (for optimal clinical outcome), very safe (lowest rate of infection and other peri-operative complications, less blood loss), and with a very fast postoperative recovery. Patients are usually on their feet walking within few hours of the surgery and stay in a hospital for 1 to 3 days.
While partial knee replacement surgery has been shown to be a very safe and efficient option to treat focal osteoarthritis, it carries a greater risk of revision surgery compared to a primary total knee replacement. This is mainly because partial knee replacement is easily convertible to a total knee replacement pushing surgeons to not tolerate sub-optimal outcomes with partial knee replacement. This increased revision rate used to be considered as a drawback, however, it reflects, in fact, a real strength of partial knee replacement surgery which is to dispose of a reliable treatment to solve a potential complication. This is less true for total knee replacement.