Enthusiasm about partial knee or unicompartmental replacement continues. Over the last 12 months, we have switched from using fixed bearing unicompartmental replacements to a mobile-bearing unicompartmental replacement. The Oxford partial knee replacement has a long track record of success and for patients who meet the indications, which are approximately 10% of people needing some form of knee replacement, this option has worked very well. The benefits of partial knee replacement include smaller soft tissue dissection, a slightly faster recovery, and a potentially more natural feeling knee. The downside of partial knee replacement is shorter survivorship when compared to total knee replacement. The good news is that if and when this fails revision to a knee replacement can be a relatively straight forward operation. If you have pain and decreased motion and decreased function as a result of arthritis in your knee you should discuss with your orthopedic surgeon whether or not you would be a candidate for partial knee replacement.
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I enjoy reading your blogs. This one led me to two questions.
1. You say, when referring to partial knee replacements “The good news is that if and when this fails revision to a knee replacement can be a relatively straight forward operation” what about when the total knee replacement gives way in 15 years assuming that’s a legit life span? Is the operation complex to replace a total replacement?
2. Are you now using mostly mobile bearing knee replacements in your surgeries or mainly only using them in athletes and obese individuals? Why aren’t mobile bearing replacements used in all knee replacements? Aren’t they superior? Is it come down to cost or are there negatives to using mobile bearing in some individuals?
Dr. William Barrett
It is more complex than revision of a partial knee replacement but still it can be accomplished with reasonable to great results.
Dr. William Barrett