Please review information on total knee replacement surgery prior to reading this section. Partial knee replacement surgery is limited to patients who have osteoarthritis in only one compartment of the knee (see anatomy section). While the entire knee joint is replaced in total knee replacement, only the affected compartment is replaced in partial knee replacement surgery. For this reason, patients tend to have shorter hospital stays and fewer complications compared to those who undergo total knee replacement.
Ideal candidates are usually 55 years or older and not overweight. Since prostheses (artificial parts) are used, individuals who participate in activities or sports which put stress on the knee joint are not candidates for this procedure as there is a risk of wearing out the prosthesis.