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Partial Knee Replacement

Partial Resurfacing - Medial Uniarthroplasty

- Lateral Uniarthroplasty

- Patellofemoral Resurfacing

Here at Wessex Knee Surgery, Mr Frame is focused on providing the best service as an orthopaedic consultant knee surgeon. When surgery is required for knee pain and osteoarthritis a joint resurfacing may be the way to proceed.

Partial knee replacement means that only a part of the knee joint is replaced through a smaller incision than would normally be used for a total knee replacement. It is also called a partial resurfacing as it simply resurfaces the worn out cartilage with a thin layer of metal and plastic without removing your ligaments and altering the biomechanics of the knee. 


  • Smaller operation

  • Lower mortality

  • Smaller incision

  • Not as much bone removed

  • Shorter hospital stay

  • Shorter recovery period

  • Blood transfusion rarely required

Surgical Procedure

Each knee is individual and knee replacements take this into account by having different sizes for your knee. 

Surgery is performed under sterile conditions in the operating room under spinal or general anaesthesia. You will be on your back and a tourniquet applied to your upper thigh to reduce blood loss. Surgery will take less than an hour.

You are positioned on the operating table and the leg prepped with antiseptic and draped with surgical drapes.

A tourniquet is applied to the upper thigh and the leg is prepared for the surgery with a sterilizing solution.
An incision around 7 cm is made to expose the knee joint.

The bone ends of the femur and tibia are prepared using a saw or a burr.

Trial components are then inserted to make sure they fit properly.

The real components (Femoral & Tibial) are then put into place with PMMA cement.

The knee is then carefully closed and the knee dressed and bandaged.

Post-operation Care

Usually you will remain in the hospital for 1-2 days. Depending on your needs, you will then return home. You will need physiotherapy on your knee following surgery. The knee will be swollen and ice, compression and cold will help with the pain and discomfort. A special cool compression device is a great way of helping to speed up your recovery. Click here to take a look at the AIRCAST CryoCuff we can supply from 'The Kit Room'.


You will be discharged on a zimmer or crutches and usually off them before six weeks. The bend in your knee is variable, but by 6 weeks it should bend to over 90 degrees. The goal is to obtain 110-115 degrees of movement by 6 weeks.

Once the wound is healed, you may shower. If you want a waterproof covering to allow the dressing and wound to stay dry please click here to take a look in 'The Kit Room'.  


You can drive at about 6 weeks, once you have regained control of your leg. You should be walking reasonably comfortably by 6 weeks. More physical activities, such as sports previously discussed may take 3 months to be able to do comfortably.

When you go home you need to take special precautions around the house to make sure it is safe. You may need rails in your bathroom or to modify your sleeping arrangements especially if your bed is up a lot of stairs.

You will usually have a 6 week check with Mr Frame, who will assess your progress. 

If you have any unexplained pain, swelling, or redness or if you feel generally unwell, you should see your doctor as soon as possible or contact us at

Risks and Complications

As with any major surgery, there are potential risks involved and may include:

  • Surgical site infection

  • Blood Clots (Deep Venous Thrombosis)

  • Fractures in the Bone

  • Stiffness in the Knee

  • Wear of implants

  • Wound Irritation or Breakdown

  • Cosmetic Appearance

  • Numbness to the skin around the wound

  • Patella Problems

  • Ligament Injuries

  • Damage to Nerves and Blood Vessels

  • Progression of disease

Discuss your concerns thoroughly with Mr Frame prior to surgery.

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