Partial Knee Replacement

(using OXFORD® implant)

Your knee is divided into three different compartments – medial, lateral, and patellofemoral. The medial compartment is the inside part of the knee and the lateral compartment is the outside part. The patellofemoral compartment is the front of the knee between the kneecap, or patella, and the thigh bone.

A good amount of people with osteoarthritis only have one of the three compartments of the knee worn out. When this happens, the individual might only need a partial knee replacement.


A partial knee replacement using the OXFORD® implant is a less invasive procedure than a total knee replacement. The OXFORD® knee uses metal and plastic implants that are designed to last longer and wear down less easily than a traditional implant. 

Causes of Partial Knee Replacement

People who may need a partial knee replacement are those who experience osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that protects the bones in the knee wears away. For some people, this occurs throughout the entire knee joint. For others, it will affect only one portion of the knee. Often, this is the medial portion of the knee, but it can also be the lateral part of the knee on rare occasions. 

A partial knee replacement only replaces the affected part of the knee.  Replacing only the worn-out portion of the joint allows the surgeon to save as much of the natural knee as possible. The other, healthy parts of the cartilage, bone, and ligaments are preserved.


There are a variety of symptoms you might experience that signal that it is time for a partial knee replacement. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Your knee aching during and after exercising
  • Your knee gets stiff from sitting in a car or sitting for an extended period
  • Your knee pain prevents you from sleeping
  • You notice a decrease in your range of motion, potentially to the point where you are unable to bend your knee
  • Your knee is stiff or swollen
  • You have trouble walking or climbing up stairs
  • Your knee pain persists or recurs over time

Partial Knee Replacement Procedure

Knee Accessed

First, an incision is made in the knee. The surgeon will explore the three different compartments of your knee to verify that the damage is only present in one location. 

Removal of Damaged Parts

Then, the damaged arthritic portions of the femur are removed. The damaged parts of the meniscus are removed. A small amount of bone is removed from the tibia to make room for the new metal tibial part of the implant. A small amount of bone is also removed from the damaged femoral condyle and then the end is reshaped to fit the new implant.

Placement of Implant

Next, a groove is made in the tibia’s surface and bone cement is applied. The metal tibial component of the implant is pressed into place. Next, the prepared part of the femur is also filled with cement before the metal component gets pressed in place. A plastic bearing implant is inserted between the femoral and tibial implants.

End of Procedure

Now, the new parts of the knee joint are tested by flexing and extending the knee. The plastic bearing implant is not actually fixed into place. This allows it to move when the knee moves, which potentially reduces wear on the implant. 

After the Procedure

Thanks to the smaller incision, patients of a partial knee replacement often spend less time in the hospital than patients of a full knee replacement. They also tend to return back to their normal activities quicker than full knee replacement patients. As with most orthopaedic surgeries, physical therapy will typically be recommended after your surgery to help you continue improving your range of motion and preventing further damage to the knee.

Contact us today!