“Just thought I would let you know that I had a very successful weeks skiing in Verbier and got back last weekend. Weather fantastic and knee held up very well. Many, many thanks.”

“I couldn't ask for a better surgeon than Neil, he has honestly changed my life in 1 year and I can't thank him enough.”

“I would sincerely like to thank you and your team for the work you did on my knee after the x-ray revealed a 'nasty' break. Your expertise has given me back the use of this leg and I can now walk unaided for half a mile or more. The previous knee operation has also been a complete success.”

“The process from start to finish was smooth and efficient. I always knew where I was in the process, what to expect and when. A thoroughly professional service with a smile.”

“Pre-op information first class. Post-op conditions also first class. Very successful operation.”

“I am now in week 6 after the operation on my knee and I feel I must express my admiration for your skill and delight at the result. I am walking well and striding confidently into a bright new future. Many thanks.”

“Recovery from my knee operation was much quicker than expected. By 10 months I hardly knew I'd had problems with my knee. Able to walk properly again without any thought.”

“Care very good. Mr Bradbury was faultless. Would have liked to see specialist physiotherapist, Genevieve, all through my recovery as she was very helpful. Saw her at 6 months after my knee operation.”

“Mr Bradbury did a fantastic job on my left knee. At 75 I now have my life back!”

“You all did so much to relieve my anxiety and concerns with my knee replacement. I shall remember you with gratitude every time I walk the dog in the future. Thank you”

Knee replacement (partial) surgery

Knee replacement (partial) surgery


The knee joint includes the patella, the lower end of the femur and the upper tibia, all are enclosed within the same sleeve of synovial membrane and supported by the surrounding ligaments and muscles. Functionally there are three separate compartments: the patellofemoral joint between the deep surface of the patella and the front of the femur; the medial compartment between the medial femoral condyle and the medial tibial plateau on the inner aspect of the knee; and the lateral compartment between the lateral femoral condyle and the lateral tibial plateau on the outer aspect of the knee.

Osteoarthritis can affect one, two or all three of these joint compartments to a greater or lesser degree. As a result of this we can choose to replace just the affected part of the joint in about 50% of cases of osteoarthritis rather than the whole joint. The big advantage of this is that it is a smaller operation than a total knee replacement, with less blood loss and a shorter stay in hospital. It also results in a more normal feel to the knee and better overall function.

Partial replacements of just one compartment are called uni-compartmental knee replacements; two compartments – bi-compartmental knee replacements and three compartments – total knee replacements.

Resurfacing rather than replacement

The procedure of uni-compartmental or bi-compartmental knee replacement is more of a resurfacing procedure rather than a replacement, although the word replacement is still most commonly used. In effect a relatively thin layer of bone and cartilage is removed no thicker than 9 mm in most cases from the affected surfaces and replaced with a ceramic on metal surface with a plastic or high density polyethylene bearing. It is important to realise that during a UKR there is always the potential for the surgeon to have to switch to a total knee replacement for technical reasons if the knee is just not suitable for a partial knee procedure. Your surgeon will discuss this with you during consultation. Generally speaking partial knee replacements are not suitable for patients with inflammatory conditions arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.