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Partial Knee Replacement

Internal femoro-tibial osteoarthritis of the left knee (upper image) having been treated with one (lower image) medial unicompartmental femoro-tibial partial replacement of the left knee – front and profile views.

Partial medial femoro-tibial replacement, also called medial unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA). The femoro-tibial prosthesis is made up of 2 metal components which are implanted on the femur and the tibia, and a plastic liner inserted between the 2 implants.

Patellofemoral osteoarthritis of the left knee (upper image) treated with a partial replacement (lower image). The femoro-patellar prosthesis is composed of 2 implants: a metal implant cemented on the femur and a plastic implant cemented on the patella.


A partial knee replacement is indicated in the event of a significant and chronic deterioration in your quality of life with significant pain/stiffness in your knee which is insufficiently controlled by medical treatment, and linked to severe “bone on bone” osteoarthritic degeneration and limited to only 1 of the 3 compartments of the knee.

The partial knee replacement is the treatment of choice for 3 types of patients :

  • Young patients (<60 years old). These patients have a high life expectancy and are therefore at risk of one day requiring a replacement of their prosthesis; revision of a partial prosthesis is simpler and less risky than revision of a total knee prosthesis.
  • Very active patients (leisure and/or profession). These patients need a prosthetic knee that allows higher functional performance and feels more natural.
  • Fragile patients (>80 years old and/or with multiple comorbidities). These patients need a safe surgical procedure (less risk of complications) and with a short recovery period.