Partial Knee replacement surgery

A partial knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which just the damaged or worn portions of the knee are removed and replaced with a new, partial artificial implant made out of metal and high-grade polymer. A partial or ‘uni-knee’ replacement involves removing only the most damaged areas of cartilage and replacing only the damaged surfaces, whilst preserving most of the knee joint.

The benefits of this operation are a smaller incision, and bone removal is much less compared with a total knee replacement, such that if a revision procedure is needed in the future, bone is preserved. It is also associated with less blood loss. The recovery period may be shorter, both the time spent in hospital and the overall time to full recovery. However, not all patients are suitable for a partial knee replacement. A partial knee replacement may be considered if you have arthritis confined to one part of the knee.


You may need a partial knee replacement if you have difficulties with day to day activities such as walking, climbing stairs or not being able to enjoy your leisure activities as much as you wish due to discomfort, an aching awareness of your knee and stiffness and/or swelling.

A partial knee replacement is a quality of life procedure which should improve these symptoms significantly. Patients recover much quicker and have less pain after a partial knee replacement, have less swelling and report quicker return to work compared to knee replacement.


You will experience pain after a partial knee replacement but it is usually well controlled by regular painkillers and ice. You will experience a different type of pain compared to the arthritic pain before surgery, which will improve day by day. The pain is part of the healing process and is due to swelling and inflammation. It may last several weeks/months after the procedure, but improves with each passing week. Regular icing and anti-inflammatories (if not contra-indicated) and regular stretches as shown by the physiotherapists would help.


Although partial knee replacements are successful operations, there are risks associated with the procedure you must be aware of and accept prior to surgery. These risks include infection, clots (‘thrombosis’), stiffness, pain in spite of surgery, incomplete relief of pain after surgery, nerve and vessel damage, re-operation, medical, anaesthetic and mortality risks. However, you will be reassured we will take every precaution to minimise these risks, including but not limited to, giving you antibiotics before and after surgery, injections or tablets to reduce the risk of clots, surgical stockings and medical care and supervision before and after surgery.


You will typically have a regional anaesthetic (spinal anaesthetic), or occasionally for medical reasons a general anaesthetic, and sedation. We will of course, consider your wishes in relation to your preferred anaesthetic. The operation will take between 1 and 2 hours.


A straight cut, usually over the front of your knee of the affected part of the knee is made. Using robotic assisted technology, the damaged parts of the knee is removed to make a flat surface. The new parts are fitted over the knee, and trialled/ tested to make sure they fit and the joint works well. The big advantage of robotic assisted partial knee replacement is the reassurance that you will have a precisely planned and implanted partial replacement, which is fitted to your anatomy, size and alignment, which in turn gives you the best opportunity for a ‘forgotten’ or natural feeling knee.  

Once the new parts are fitted and working the wound will be closed using stitches or staples and covered with a large dressing over a surgical stocking, which is kept on.


You will typically be in hospital between 2 to 3 days after surgery. You will need crutches or a walking aid for several weeks after surgery, depending on your confidence and strength.

Recovery is a balance between rest and icing the knee to reduce inflammation and swelling, and staying active with increasing walks and exercise. A trained physiotherapist and your Surgeon will guide you through your recovery. In general, listen to your knee. If you do too much, your knee will ache and may swell excessively. If that happens, you must elevate, rest and ice your knee, allowing the inflammation and swelling to subside.


Although partial knee replacements are generally successful in relieving pain and improving function, the reported revision rates/ re-do/ re-operation are as high as 6 to 7 times higher when compared to full knee replacements.

Robotic-assisted technology has come about as it is recognised that the precision and accuracy of knee implant placement can be the difference between a ‘good’ and a ‘forgotten’/excellent knee. In robotic assisted partial knee replacement surgery, your Surgeon could very precisely (to fractions of a millimetre) implant a knee that is tailored to your anatomy, your knee size and alignment. The outcomes following robotic assisted partial knee replacement are very promising, with patients happy that the technical approach to surgery is extremely accurate, so that they are left with just having to concentrate on the rehabilitation required after knee replacement.


Partial knee replacements are generally very successful operations. However, as it is relatively infrequently performed, it is advisable that your surgery is performed by a Surgeon who has the experience and surgical volume needed to reassure patients of an excellent outcome. Robotic assisted partial knee replacement also has the potential to reassure patients in relation to the precision and accuracy of prosthesis implantation.

After surgery, it is important to be patient, to follow surgeon and physiotherapy advice/instructions, (e.g. regular icing), to expect that recovery is a process ("good/bad days"), that it may take 4 to 6 months to see significant improvement to your symptoms and function. It is important you understand that compliance with physiotherapy and exercises after knee replacement correlates strongly with an excellent outcome. It is also crucial you understand what may or may not be achievable, that is, your expectations must match what the surgeon and physio believe can be achieved in terms of pain relief and improvement in function from having surgery, taking into account what you were like before surgery.

In short, be patient and rehab well to ensure a good outcome. Mr Kim and his team will ensure that you are seen by trained/specialist physiotherapist and you are fully aware of what is required before and after surgery in terms of patient education, exercises and a fitness and strengthening program of exercises tailored to your needs.


The advantages of having your surgery performed privately is that the whole of your care is provided by an experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon assisted by his team. Your Surgeon will see you daily after your knee replacement, you will have your own room in highly reputable hospitals (BMI the Alexandra or Spire Manchester Hospitals), physiotherapy treatment, medical care will be readily available including High Dependency or Intensive Care facilities if required.

Furthermore, you will have ready access to your Surgeon and his team after discharge from hospital (via a phone call, e mail or outpatient visit, as required).


    • Patient pathway
    • Initial consultation
    • Diagnostic investigations
    • Main treatment
    • Post discharge care
    • Total
    • Hospital fees
    • N/A
    • Included
    • Included
    • Included
    • Consultants fees
    • £240
    • Additional £130 for x-rays may be required
    • See total below
    • See total below
    • Total
    • £14,300
      (but confirmation after assessment due to patient factors e.g. if high dependency care is needed after surgery; full quote provided before surgery would be all inclusive and includes all follow-up care)


This is a guide price for your consultation and treatment package. Your consultant will be able to discuss treatment options (e.g. conventional v robotic assisted surgery, and whether ITU care required) and costs with you (subject to your pre-assessment tests) so you are able to make an informed decision that's right for you. The fixed cost will be confirmed in writing at time of booking your treatment. Prices can be subject to change.


There are three ways to pay for your treatment via BMI Alexandra or Spire Hospital.

PAY FOR YOURSELF: Pay for yourself with our fixed price packages. This includes your pre-assessment, treatment, follow-ups and 6 months aftercare

SPREAD THE COST: Pay for yourself with the finance and spread the cost over 12 months, interest-free (terms and conditions apply)

PRIVATE MEDICAL INSURANCE: The cost of your treatment may be covered by private medical insurance (check with your insurer first)

Want to find out more? Speak to one of our team today

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