Partial knee replacements including uni-knee replacement (UKR) and patella-femoral joint replacements are reserved for limited cases where there is accelerated cartilage wear (osteo-arthritis) involving only one area (compartment) of the knee. This may be the result of previous trauma (e.g. fracture) or due to altered biomechanics causing excessive loading of one area. Dr Bartlett will discuss whether you may be a candidate for a partial knee replacement.


This procedure is performed less commonly than a total knee replacement and is usually reserved for a limited number of patients who might have an otherwise healthy knee except for one area. Typically this may be a younger patient who is otherwise too young to have a total knee replacement. This treatment may be converted to a total knee replacement at a later stage as indicated.


A detailed work-up is required to exclude any other underlying pathology that may predispose the patient to an accelerated cartilage wear rate involving one area of the knee only. This may involve bloods tests to exclude inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and more advanced imaging (including CT and MRI) to define the surrounding anatomy. 

Surgical Detail

The surgical procedure is similar to that of a total knee replacement where only the affected part of the joint cartilage is replaced with a prosthetic bearing. 


Patients can expect to be in hospital for a few days as they recover from this procedure. Similar to a total knee replacement, the patient is allowed to stand and walk on their new knee immediately and will work closely with a physiotherapist to get the best results.

Key Points

  • Good solution to difficult problem

  • Limited indications (i.e. not for everyone)

  • Can be converted to Total Knee Replacement at later stage (if required)