Common Questions after
Partial Knee Replacements

Author: Chloe Wilson - BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy

Partial Knee Replacements are where one side or the knee joint is removed, usually due to wear and tear on the cartilage and bone from arthritis, and replaced with a prosthesis. It is a smaller operation than a total knee replacement which generally means a shorter recovery time.

People often have lots of questions about partial knee replacements (PKR).  Here you will find answers to the most commonly asked ones.  If you can't find what you are looking for, visit the PKR overview.

How Common Are Partial Knee Replacements? Approximately 8-15% of knee replacements performed are partial ones. That is about 8,000 per year in the UK and 13,000 in the US

What Happens During Surgery? The arthritic side of the knee joint is removed and replaced with a prosthesis made from metal and plastic. The knee ligaments are left intact

When Can I Return to Work? For sedentary jobs, usually after 2-4 weeks. For physically demanding jobs, approximately 2-3 months

What Activities Can I Do? You can generally get back to any activity following partial knee surgery. Start off slowly and gradually increase how much you can do being guided by your knee

When Can I Shower? You must wait until the wound is completely dry (not oozing) which is usually about 5 days.

You can usually get back to any activities after partial knee replacement

How Long Do I Need To Exercise For? Until you have regained full range of movement of your knee (can fully bend and straighten it) and good strength in the muscles. Even when you have achieved this, it is worth continuing with your exercises 2-3 times weekly indefinitely to keep your new knee in its best condition. See the Knee Replacement Exercise section for more information

How Do I know If I’m Overdoing It? A bit of discomfort when doing something doesn’t mean you need to stop. It should however settle within about half an hour. If pain continues for more than two hours after stopping the activity, that is a sign you have overdone it. Next time, reduce the intensity or time you do the activity for. If an activity causes immediate severe pain, do stop straight away

How Long Do Partial Knee Replacements Last? 98% last at least ten years, 92% at least twenty years

What About Airport Metal Detectors? Knee replacements do not normally set them off, but if they do, security may want to see your scar as proof of your operation

Our new Knee Arthritis Book is out in paperback or for instant download on your Kindle.  Knee Arthritis: Take Back Control: From Exercises To Knee Replacements & Everything In Between

All the info you need, top tips, exercises & loads more. Available in paperback or on Kindle.
Find Out More

Read Reviews/ Buy Now


Our new Knee Arthritis Book is out in paperback or for instant download on your Kindle.  Knee Arthritis: Take Back Control: From Exercises To Knee Replacements & Everything In Between

Top tips, exercises and loads more. Paperback or Kindle.

Find Out More

Read Reviews/ Buy Now

What Happens If The Prosthesis Fails? Sometimes they can be redone (known as a revision) or you would have a total knee replacement

Can I Still Play Golf? Yes, usually after 4-6 weeks

When Can I Have Sex? After 4-6 weeks

Is Knee Surgery Pain Common? Yes, it is normal to experience pain after knee surgery for a few weeks as the skin, muscles and bone have been cut and take time to heal. This normally settles down within a few weeks

More On Partial Knee Replacements

To find out more about partial knee replacement surgery, choose from the following links.

Knee Replacement Book: All the info you need on arthritis and knee replacements in a handy book
Including who Partial Knee Replacements are suitable for and how they are different to Total Knee Replacements
What actually happens during partial knee surgery
Including how successful partial knee surgery is and when you can return to activities
Problems and Risks:
A guide to the most common problems associated with partial knee surgery
Partial vs Total Knee Replacements:
Compare the two to find out which surgery is right for you

Go to Knee Replacement Overview or Knee Pain Guide

Your Comments

Share your knee pain experiences with others, whether it be ideas, top tips, things that worked well for you, problems you've had etc.......