Knee Replacement - What's New
Midtown Sports Medicine
Dr. Eric Furie Dr. Eric Furie

Minimally Invasive Partial Knee Surgery

What is a partial knee replacement, and how is it different from total joint replacement surgery?
A partial knee replacement, or unicondylar knee replacement (UKR), is a surgical procedure in which only one side of the knee is replaced, as opposed to a total knee replacement (TKR), in which both sides of the knee are replaced.

Who is the right candidate for this procedure?
The best candidate for a partial knee replacement is one who has arthritis in only one part of the knee. These patients are frequently in their 40s and 50s, compared to the usual total knee replacement patients who are in their 60s and 70s.

Picture-1What are some benefits of 
partial knee replacement?
It minimizes the amount of bone and cartilage resected, and it allows the patient to retain his or her ligaments. This gives the patient a more natural feeling, a more normal gait pattern, and more stability.

Are there any risks with 
partial knee replacement?
The risks of the partial knee replacement are significantly less than that with a total knee replacement. As with all surgeries, there is a risk of infection, and as with TKR, there is a risk of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) as well as other problems, but these risks are significantly less with the UKR.

How long is the recovery time?
The recovery time is usually half the time of a total knee replacement - approximately six weeks. Improvements continue during the ensuing six months, but usually by six weeks the patient is ambulatory without a cane or crutch.

What should a patient look for in a doctor who performs partial knee replacement surgery?
Look for a surgeon who has performed more than just a few of these surgeries, so he or she has the experience to identify possible complications and is capable of switching to a TKR should the need arise. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of planned UKR’s end up being TKR’s due to an unexpected amount of arthritis on the asymptomatic side of the knee, which is only identified at the time of surgery.

Dr. Eric Furie is an orthopaedic surgeon at Midtown Sports Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons (ABOS) and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). He has served as Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Atlanta Medical Center where he is currently teaching orthopaedic residents.

Midtown Sports Medicine
285 Boulevard NE, Suite 310
Atlanta, Ga 30312
(404) 522-5828