Knee Replacement Surgery

What is the Procedure of Partial knee Replacement Surgery?

Updated on February 11, 2017      Admin
Partial knee Replacement procedure

Patient will likely be admitted to the hospital on the day of surgery.

Before surgical procedure consultant doctor from the anesthesia department will discuss anesthesia choices with patient. Patient should also have discussed anesthesia choices with consultant surgeon during preoperative clinic visits. Anesthesia options include:

  • General anesthesia (patient are put to sleep)
  • Spinal (patient are awake but body is numb from the waist down)

Consultant surgeon will also see patiet before surgery and sign patient’s knee to verify the surgical site.

Surgical Procedure

A partial knee replacement operation typically lasts between 1 and 2 hours.

Inspection of the joint- Consultant surgeon will make an incision at the front of patient’s knee. He or she will then explore the three compartments of patient’s knee to verify that the cartilage damage is, in fact, limited to one compartment and that patient ligament are intact.

If consultant surgeon feels that patient’s knee is unsuitable for a partial knee replacement, he or she may instead perform a total knee replacement. This contingency plan will have been discussed with patient before operation to make sure that patient is agree with this strategy.

What is the procedure during Partial knee replacement surgery?

There are three basic steps in the procedure:

  • Prepare the bone.Consultant surgeon will use special saws to remove the cartilage from the damaged compartment of patient’s knee.
  • Position the metal implants.The removed cartilage and bone is replaced with metal coverings that recreate the surface of the joint. These metal parts are typically held to the bone with cement.
  • Insert a spacer- A plastic insert is placed between the two metal components to create a smooth gliding surface.

What is the procedure after Partial knee replacement surgery?

Recovery room- After the surgery patient will be taken to the recovery room, where patient will be closely monitored by nurses till up to the recovery from the anesthesia. Patient will then be taken to the hospital room.


As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with partial knee replacement. Consultant surgeon will discuss each of the risks with patient and will take specific measures to help avoid potential complications.

Although rare, the most common risks include:

  • Blood clots. Blood clots in the leg veins are a common complication of knee replacement surgery. Blood clots can form in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis after surgery. Blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), low-molecular-weight heparin, and aspirin can help prevent this problem. Newer blood thinners, such as apixaban (Eliquis) and rivaroxaban (Xarelto), may also be prescribed by doctor, depending upon patient’s needs.
  • Infection. After surgery an infection may occur in the skin over the wound or deep in the wound. An infection may happen while patient are in the hospital or after patient go home. Patient will be given antibiotics before the start of surgery and these will be continued for about 24 hours afterward to prevent infection.
  • Injury to nerves or vessels. Although it rarely happens, nerves or blood vessels may be injured or stretched during the procedure.
  • Continued pain
  • Risks of anesthesia
  • Need for additional surgery


Hospital discharge- Partial knee replacement patients usually experience less postoperative pain, less swelling, and have easier rehabilitation than patients undergoing total knee replacement. In most cases, patients go home 1 to 3 days after the operation. Some patients go home the day of the surgery.

Pain management- After surgery, patient will feel some pain, but surgeon and nurses will make every effort to help patient feel as comfortable as possible.

Many types of medicines are available to help control pain, including opioids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and local anesthetics. Treating pain with medication can help patient feel more comfortable, which will help patient’s body heal and recover from surgery faster.

Opioids can provide excellent pain relief; however, they are a narcotic and can be addictive. It is important to use opioids only as directed by consultant doctor. Patient should stop taking these medications as soon as patient’s pain starts to improve.

Weightbearing- Patient will begin putting weight on knee immediately after surgery. Patient may need a walker, cane, or crutches for the first several days or weeks until patient become comfortable enough to walk without assistance.

Rehabilitation exercise- A physical therapist will give patient exercises to help maintain patient’s range of motion and restore his/her strength.

Doctor visits. Patient will continue to see orthopaedic surgeon for follow-up visits in his or her clinic at regular intervals.

Regular exercise– Patient will most likely resume all of regular activities of daily living by 6 weeks after surgery.