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