Knee osteoarthritis sometimes only occurs on the medial side of the joint (the side closest to your other knee). In knees that are otherwise healthy, partial knee replacement can preserve the healthy bone, cartilage and ligaments. Whenever a patient comes to a point where the pain becomes unbearable and it does not respond to simple line of treatment, THE ONLY OPTION OFFERED TO PATIENTS IS TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT. But in patients where the only medial side of knee is worn off and rest of the joint surface and ligaments are intact, it becomes a very destructive option. Although TKR has been a proven safe procedure with data supporting its success rates, it still has got a limited life span of around 15 yrs. in such a case if only medial surface is replaced with a UKA ,it gives patient a pain free joint with almost normal knee movement with a comparatively minimal surgery.
Partial knee replacement is being done since last 65 yrs in western world and has developed its design to give optimal results in carefully selected group of patients.In published data, the Partial Knee is the most widely used and clinically proven in the world. Published long-term clinical results on the Partial Knee demonstrated a 92.4% survivorship at 10 years, 94.0% at 15 years and 91% at 20 years.
New research reports that Partial Knee patients are more likely than total knee patients to be satisfied with their ability to perform activities of daily living, and to report that their knee replacement “felt normal".
Patients receiving the Partial Knee at a minimum of one year post-operation were:
o 1.81 times more likely than total knee replacement recipients to report that their knee felt normal.
o 2.69 times more likely to be satisfied with their ability to perform activities of daily living.
Other advantages of partial knee includes short hospital stay, minimally invasive surgery, rapid recovery and almost no physiotherapy post operation.
It is a blessing for Indian patients for two reasons, one, it allows squatting and cross leg sitting to patients which is not possible with TKR and second, in most of the Indian patients the degenerative disease starts in medial compartment and if its treated with Partial knee the progression of disease also gets restricted.
There is no guarantee that any implant will successfully function for a specific length of time, as there are a multitude of variables that affect the life of an implant.
Not all patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis are candidates for Partial knee, hence its your surgeon who will decide whether it can be a choice for your patient.