Knee replacements have been highly successful for more than 30 years. According to the US National Institutes of Health, 9 out of 10 patients who undergo the procedure report improved pain relief, knee function, and overall health-related quality of life.1
If the surfaces on both sides of the bones, as well as the underside of the patella, are significantly damaged, a total knee replacement is usually considered.
In some cases, however, there may be significant damage on only one side of the joint. In these cases, a partial (unicompartmental) knee replacement may be considered. In a partial knee replacement, only one side of the joint is resurfaced.
On the other hand, your doctor may determine that you can delay or even eliminate the need for a knee replacement by surgically repairing your damaged cartilage with a tissue graft.
It is important to be involved in your recovery, and there are some additional things about knee replacement and knee surgery that you may wish to discuss with your primary doctor and an orthopedic surgeon: