In partial knee replacement, only the damaged compartment is replaced with a metal and plastic implant while the healthy cartilage and bone in the rest of the knee is left in place. Prior to the procedure, the doctor examines the knee, tries to identify the location of the pain, and tests the knee for range of motion and ligament quality. Imaging tests, such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), may be done to see the pattern of arthritis or better assess the cartilage.
In a minimally invasive partial knee replacement procedure, an incision is made to allow for insertion of the knee replacement. The short length of the incision and less-invasive nature of the procedure may cause less discomfort, swelling and blood loss for patients, as well as a shorter stay in the hospital and less rehabilitation compared to conventional surgery. Patients may also be able to return to work earlier.