knee arthroplasty
knee arthroplasty

About Uni-Compartmental Knee Arthroplasty

After many years of activity and hard work, possibly a couple injuries, your knee can wear out. When X-rays confirm that the cartilage and meniscus (cushion in your knee) are thin and degenerative, the common diagnosis is degenerative joint disease of the knee.

If it only involves one side of your knee and the other parts of your knee are perfect, then you may be a candidate for a uni-compartmental knee arthroplasty (UNI). This means that we can replace only one part of your knee, either inside (medial) or outside (lateral). The alternatives are to live with it or possibly have the whole knee replaced, if that is an option your surgeon presents to you.

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Benefits of UNI or Partial Knee Replacement

The benefits and advantages of a UNI include the following:

  • Relieving pain in the area we replace
  • Buying more time before we have to replace the whole knee
  • A more natural-feeling knee, because you get to keep your ACL (a ligament needed for running and jumping)
  • Easier recovery (one day in the hospital and faster rehabilitation at home)

The disadvantages to UNI can include the following:

  • Partial pain relief
  • Continued wear in the other parts of the knee that aren't replaced
  • Another operation to replace all of the knee (total knee arthroplasty). If you are young enough to need this, it is usually in an average of 7-10 years, but hopefully not earlier than five years.

Typically, you will have surgery and go home the next day from the hospital. You will have a physical therapist to do exercises with, or they will teach you how to do them on your own. Stiffness is not as big of a problem as it can be when we replace the whole knee. Infection, however, is always a concern whenever we put metal into someone's body. Also, as long as you are up and active, blood clots in the leg are very rare.

You will be seen two weeks from surgery for your staples to be removed, then again at six weeks from surgery to see the surgeon and check x-rays. You'll be allowed to drive at two to three weeks from surgery, return to work when you feel ready and stop using a cane when you can walk well without a limp. Full activities can be resumed at six weeks from surgery, as tolerated.

Stephen K. Aoki, MD

Patient Rating:


4.8 out of 5

Dr. Stephen K. Aoki, Associate Professor, specializes in hip and knee sports medicine. His clinical practice and research focus on both adult and pediatric sports injuries. Current interests include hip preservation/femoroacetabular impingement in the young adult, hip arthroscopy, the pediatric and adolescent athlete, ACL tears in children, patella... Read More

Jill A. Erickson, PA-C

Jill Erickson has worked with our Adult Reconstruction Surgeons since 1999, and with Christopher Peters, M.D. exclusively since 2003, with Joint Replacements as well as Hip Preservation procedures. She is an integral member of our University of Utah Center for Hip & Knee Reconstruction team and coordinates our research, surgical and clinical ou... Read More

Travis G. Maak, MD

Patient Rating:


4.8 out of 5

Dr. Travis Maak’s practice is focused on sports medicine and arthroscopic treatment of the hip, knee and shoulder. He is the Head Orthopaedic Team Physician for the Utah Jazz and Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Utah. Dr. Maak is originally from Salt Lake City and a graduate from Stanford University. He co... Read More

University Orthopaedic Center 590 Wakara Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
South Jordan Health Center 5126 W. Daybreak Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84009
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