Exploring Different Types of Knee Replacement Surgery

Types of Knee Replacement Surgery | Orthomed Hospital
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Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a medical procedure performed to relieve pain and improve the function of damaged knee joints. This surgical intervention can significantly enhance the quality of life for individuals suffering from severe knee problems. There are several types of knee replacement surgeries available, each catering to specific needs and conditions. In this article, we will delve into the various types of knee replacement surgery, their differences, and when they might be recommended.

6 Types of Knee Replacement Surgery

Total Knee Replacement (TKR)

  • Total knee replacement is the most common types of knee replacement surgery.
  • It involves replacing the entire knee joint with an artificial implant.
  • This procedure is typically recommended for individuals with advanced osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or severe knee injuries.
  • TKR can provide significant pain relief and improve joint function.
Types of Knee Replacement Surgery | Orthomed Hospital

Partial Knee Replacement (PKR)

  • In a partial knee replacement, only the damaged part of the knee joint is replaced with an implant.
  • This procedure is suitable for individuals with knee arthritis or damage limited to one specific compartment of the knee.
  • PKR is less invasive and often results in a quicker recovery compared to TKR.

Bilateral Knee Replacement

  • Bilateral knee replacement involves replacing both knee joints during a single surgical session.
  • It is recommended for individuals with severe arthritis or joint damage in both knees.
  • Recovery may be more challenging compared to single knee replacement surgeries, but it can be a practical option for some patients.

Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement

  • Minimally invasive knee replacement is a technique that uses smaller incisions and specialized instruments.
  • This approach aims to reduce post-operative pain and speed up recovery.
  • Not all patients are candidates for this types of knee replacement surgery, as it may not be suitable for complex cases.

Revision Knee Replacement

  • Revision knee replacement is performed when a previously implanted knee prosthesis needs to be replaced or adjusted.
  • It is a more complex procedure than initial knee replacement surgery.
  • Reasons for revision may include infection, implant wear and tear, or complications from the initial surgery.

Robotic-Assisted Knee Replacement

  • Robotic-assisted knee replacement combines advanced computer technology with the surgeon’s skill.
  • It allows for more precise implant placement and alignment.
  • This types of knee replacement surgery may result in better long-term outcomes for some patients.

Types of Knee Replacement Implants

Knee arthroplasty, commonly referred to as knee replacement surgery, is a medical procedure designed to replace deteriorated or damaged components of the knee joint with artificial implants. There are several types of knee replacement implants, each designed to suit different patient needs and surgical considerations. The choice of implant depends on factors such as the patient’s age, activity level, the severity of knee damage, and the surgeon’s preference. Here are some common types of knee replacement implants:

Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Implants

These implants replace the entire knee joint, including the femoral condyles, tibia, and patella. They come in various designs, including fixed-bearing and mobile-bearing implants. Fixed-bearing implants have the polyethylene insert firmly attached to the tibial component, while mobile-bearing implants allow more movement between the femoral component and the tibial insert.

Partial Knee Replacement (PKR) Implants

In a partial knee replacement, only a portion of the knee joint is replaced. There are three compartments in the knee: medial (inside), lateral (outside), and patellofemoral (between the kneecap and thighbone). PKR implants are designed to replace just one or two of these compartments. Partial knee replacement (PKR) is an appropriate choice for individuals who have specific, localized knee damage.

Unicompartmental Knee Replacement (UKR) Implants

UKR implants are a subset of PKR implants, designed to replace only one compartment of the knee joint. They are used when the damage is limited to either the medial or lateral compartment of the knee.

Bicompartmental Knee Replacement Implants

These implants replace two compartments of the knee, typically the medial and patellofemoral compartments. They are an option for patients with damage in these specific areas.

Revision Knee Replacement Implants

These implants are used in cases where a previous knee replacement has failed or needs to be replaced due to wear and tear. Revision implants are often more complex and customizable to address the specific issues of the failed implant.


The choice of types of knee replacement surgery depends on various factors, including the extent of knee damage, the patient’s overall health, and the surgeon’s expertise. It’s essential for individuals considering knee replacement to consult with an orthopedic specialist to determine the most suitable approach for their specific condition. Knee replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure that restores mobility and reduces pain, allowing individuals to regain an active and fulfilling lifestyle.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Total knee replacement (TKR) involves replacing the entire knee joint, including the femoral condyles, tibia, and patella. In contrast, partial knee replacement (PKR) replaces only a portion of the knee joint, typically one compartment. PKR is a suitable option when the damage is localized, and it often allows for a quicker recovery and more natural knee function.

Yes, there are alternatives to traditional knee replacement surgery. These include minimally invasive techniques, such as arthroscopy, which can be used for diagnostic and minor surgical procedures. Additionally, for certain patients with early-stage arthritis or knee damage, non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, medications, injections (e.g., corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid), and regenerative therapies (e.g., platelet-rich plasma or stem cell injections) may provide relief and delay the need for surgery.

The choice between a cemented and uncemented knee replacement implant depends on several factors. Cemented implants are typically used when the bone quality is good and allows for secure cement fixation. Uncemented implants may be preferred when the bone quality is poor or when a younger patient’s implant is expected to last for many years, as they encourage bone growth into the implant for stability. Your surgeon will assess your individual bone quality and discuss the most suitable option for your case.

The best type of knee replacement surgery for an individual depends on various factors, including the patient’s age, overall health, the severity of knee joint damage, and their surgeon’s recommendation. There are two main types of knee replacement surgery:

Total Knee Replacement (TKR):

  • In a total knee replacement, the entire knee joint is replaced with artificial components. This surgery is typically recommended when the entire knee joint is severely damaged due to arthritis, injury, or other conditions.
  • It involves removing damaged cartilage and bone from the thigh, shin, and kneecap and replacing them with metal and plastic components that mimic the natural knee joint.

Partial Knee Replacement (PKR):

  • A partial knee replacement, also known as unicompartmental knee replacement, is performed when only one part of the knee joint is damaged, typically one of the three compartments (medial, lateral, or patellofemoral).
  • This type of surgery is less invasive than a total knee replacement and may be suitable for certain patients with isolated knee joint damage.
  • It offers a shorter recovery time and less post-operative pain compared to a total knee replacement.

Knee surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries some level of risk. However, the level of risk associated with knee surgery can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of surgery, the patient’s overall health, the surgeon’s skill and experience, and the specific circumstances of the procedure.

Here are some factors that can influence the risk associated with knee surgery:

  • Type of Surgery: The risk associated with knee surgery can vary significantly depending on whether it’s a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure, a partial knee replacement, or a total knee replacement. Generally, more complex procedures may carry higher risks.
  • Patient’s Health: The patient’s overall health, including pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, can influence surgical risk. People with multiple health issues may be at a higher risk of complications.
  • Surgeon’s Experience: The experience and skill of the surgeon performing the procedure can greatly impact the outcomes and the risk of complications. Choosing a highly experienced orthopedic surgeon can reduce the risk.
  • Anesthesia: Anesthesia is a crucial aspect of surgery. The administration of anesthesia carries its own set of risks, and these risks can vary depending on the type of anesthesia used and the patient’s health.

The best knee recovery plan depends on the type of knee surgery or injury, as well as individual factors such as age, overall health, and fitness level. However, there are some general principles that can help promote a successful knee recovery:

Follow Medical Advice:

  • Always adhere to the recommendations and instructions provided by your orthopedic surgeon or healthcare provider. This includes following your post-operative care plan and any prescribed medications.

Physical Therapy:

  • Physical therapy is often a crucial part of knee recovery. A physical therapist can help you regain strength, flexibility, and mobility in your knee through exercises and stretching routines.
  • Attend all recommended physical therapy sessions and perform any assigned exercises at home as directed by your therapist.

Rest and Elevation:

  • Rest is essential to allow your knee to heal properly. Avoid putting excessive weight on your knee, and use assistive devices like crutches or a walker if needed.
  • Elevating your leg when resting can help reduce swelling and promote healing.

Ice and Compression:

  • Applying ice to your knee and using a compression bandage as recommended by your healthcare provider can help reduce swelling and discomfort.

Pain Management:

  • Take prescribed pain medications as directed by your healthcare provider to manage pain effectively.
  • Explore non-pharmacological pain management techniques like relaxation, deep breathing, or meditation.