How Partial Knee Replacement and Knee Rehabilitation Help

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery, also commonly stated to as, Unicondylar Replacement Surgery, or Partial Knee resurfacing is a surgical technique which involves the resurfacing of the worn out bony surface of the knee joint. In a Partial Knee Replacement process either the inside joint (medial); outside parts of the knee (lateral); or area in the middle of the knee cap and the upper front surface of the femur (patellofemoral) is replaced. This means only the injured part of the knee cartilage is changed with prosthesis not all parts as in Total Knee Replacement Surgery.

Recovery at Home:

You may feel pain or uneasiness for the first week at home after a partial knee replacement, and you will be given a combination of pain medications and exercises as needed. A prescription for strength painkiller is usually prescribed and should be taken as directed by your Knee surgeon. Taking one every four to seven hours as directed is considered good during the first few days to reduce pain. Swelling in your knee habitually slowly lessens over a span of two to three weeks after operation. There may be some slight bleeding for a few days, but by the time you are released from the clinic, most bleeding should have stopped. If you see swelling or bleeding increases, you should call your orthopaedic surgeons. Physicians generally advise that you avoid activities that give stress to your knee for about two weeks, so that the bones and cartilage can rebuild around the implant. Light walking and stretching will be recommended to start immediately after surgery. 

Here is what you can expect and how you can cope after an unicompartmental knee replacement:

  • Icing your knee for 30 or 40 minutes a few times a day during the first week after operation which will help to reduce pain.
  • Keep your knee elevated above heart level as much as possible to lessen swelling and aching. Place pillows below the ankle of the operative leg while you are in bed.
  • Range of motion exercises is significant for healing. Recovering full extension is just as significant as bending your knee until you get your stitches or staples removed.
  • To help in speed healing, keep your incision dry for seven to fifteen days. A plastic shower bag can help keep the incision dry while taking a bath. You can buy these bags at a drugstore or surgical supply store. Wait until you can stand easily for 15 or 20 minutes at a time before you take a bath without assistance.
  • Most patients can start again with normal daily activities, driving, and light exercise, like swimming and cycling, within two weeks after surgery.


Most of the patients can start with physical therapy immediately after operation. In the first few weeks of knee rehabilitation, your physical therapist generally helps you stretch the muscles in your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves while flexing and extending your knee to repair a full, pain-free range of motion. 


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