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Golf partial knee replacement

Partial Knee Replacement

You may be a candidate for partial knee replacement surgery if you have advanced stages of arthritis in only one compartment of your knee and your knee is severely limiting you on a daily basis.  The decision to undergo partial knee replacement surgery is a personal decision made by you with the help of Dr. Kahlenberg and is based on both symptoms and x-ray findings.  The goal of this operation is to cure your pain and improve your ability to walk as well as perform daily activities.  

Partial knee replacement surgery involves removal of the arthritic portion of the knee joint and replacement with metal and plastic (polyethylene).  In contrast to a total knee replacement, shown below on the left, a partial (unicompartmental) knee replacement, shown on the right, only replaces one compartment of the knee.














Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long is the surgery? Average surgical time is typically 1-2 hours. You could spend up to 3-4 hours in total in the operating room, which includes set up, anesthesia, positioning, surgery, and closure.

  • What is the implant made of? Cobalt chromium, titanium, and polyethylene (plastic) insert. 

  • How many nights do I spend at the hospital? Most patients go home the same day after partial knee replacement.  In order to be discharged, you must clear physical therapy, be medically stable, and have your pain controlled on oral pain medications.

  • Will I be going home or to a rehab facility after surgery? Home. We do not need to send patients to rehab facilities given our current surgical techniques.  There is an increased risk of infection when patients go to rehab rather than home after surgery. 

  • When will I walk? The same day as your surgery! Most patients will use a walker or go straight to a cane for ~3 weeks. At 6 weeks after surgery, you should be walking pretty normally. 

  • Do I have to do physical therapy after surgery? We recommend 3 different types of physical therapy depending on your needs: on your own, virtual physical therapy, and in-person visits. The goal for range of motion is to have full extension and reach 90 degrees of flexion by 3-4 weeks after surgery. 

  • How long do I continue my blood thinner AFTER surgery? 6 weeks

  • When can I fly? We recommend waiting until 6 weeks after surgery. Sooner, on a case-by-case basis.

  • How long do I leave my dressing on? You may remove your larger grey dressing 7 days after your surgery.  You may remove the small white dressings 48 hours after surgery.  You will have surgical glue, and it will naturally dissipate within 2-4 weeks.  Do NOT peel it off.  

  • Can I expect swelling/bruising after surgery during my recovery? Swelling and bruising are normal for up to 6 weeks after surgery but will slowly improve over time. 

  • When can I return to work? Most patients return to a desk job between 2-4 weeks.  For jobs that are more labor intensive, please discuss with Dr. Kahlenberg.

  • When can I have a dental cleaning/dental work? No dental work for 2 weeks BEFORE or 3 months AFTER the surgery.  You MUST take antibiotics, 1 hour before any dental work.  Please tell your dentist you have a joint replacement so that they can prescribe you antibiotics.  If they do not prescribe you antibiotics, please call our office and we will prescribe them for you.

  • Can I get an MRI after my surgery? Yes, your partial knee replacement is safe to go in an MRI machine.

  • What should I be concerned about or look out for after my surgery? Excessive redness around the incision, dehiscence or opening of the incision, drainage for more than 3 days after surgery, or fever of greater than 101.5°F

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Partial knee replacement

Disclaimer: All materials presented on this website are the presented for information only and should not be construed as medical advice. Each patient’s specific condition is different, and a comprehensive medical assessment requires a full medical history, physical exam, and review of diagnostic imaging. If you would like to seek the opinion of Dr. Kahlenberg for your specific case, we recommend contacting our office to make an appointment.

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