The two main types of knee replacement surgeries are total and partial (unicompartmental) knee arthroplasty. There is other less commonly performed types of knee arthroplasty such as patella-femoral replacement (PFR) and cartilage replacement surgery. Although both are successful procedures, controversy exists over the effectiveness and long-term results of partial knee arthroplasty compared to total knee arthroplasty. Each surgical procedure is designed for certain indications and has its advantages. Therefore, Orthopedic doctors always choose the most suitable approach according to the patients’ needs.
Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA) is a surgical procedure involving removing the articulating surfaces of both the shinbone and thigh bone which are called respectively the tibial plateau and the femoral condyles, then replacing them with artificial implants. TKA is usually performed under regional anesthesia and takes about 1 – 3 hours according to the experience of the orthopedic surgeon.
Partial Knee Arthroplasty which is also called unicompartmental and unicondylar knee arthroplasty is one of the most cost-effective surgeries. The procedure is as referred to by its name include partial replacement of the articulating surfaces of the knee joint, as only one side of the joint whether the medial or the lateral side is being replaced by a prosthetic implant. The operation time of partial knee arthroplasty is 1- 2 hours.