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Knee Replacement: Oxford® Unicompartmental

Individual grasping a painful knee.
Health Information

Knee Replacement at UK HealthCare

Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine seeks to restore injured people back to a healthy level of activity.

Knee Joint

The knee is a hinge joint. The bones in the joint are the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone) and patella (kneecap). The bones in the joint are covered with cartilage, which is a lubricating and cushioning tissue that protects the bone ends during movement.


Osteoarthritis, also called OA or degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis and is a wear and tear condition that can result from injury or overuse over time. Osteoarthritis causes painful bone-on-bone contact. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are many nonsurgical treatments designed to reduce pain.

Total Knee Replacement

Sometimes conservative nonsurgical treatments are not enough to relieve knee pain and restore motion. It is at this point that you and your orthopaedic surgeon may discuss total knee replacement as a possible treatment option.

Total knee replacement typically involves resurfacing the damaged bone and cartilage in the knee joint with metal alloy and polyethylene (plastic) components. However, not every person is a candidate for total knee replacement.

Unicompartmental Knee Replacement Surgery

Unlike total knee replacement involving removal of all the knee joint surfaces, a unicompartmental knee replacement replaces only one side of the knee joint. Knee osteoarthritis usually occurs first in the medial (inside) compartment as this side of the knee bears most of the weight. In knees that are otherwise healthy, a unicompartmental approach allows the outer compartment and all ligaments to remain intact. By retaining all of the undamaged parts, the joint may bend better and function more naturally.

The Oxford® Unicompartmental Knee is the only fully mobile bearing unicompartmental knee system in the United States. The Oxford® system offers a uniquely designed and precisely instrumented system to balance the soft tissues and to accurately reproduce normal knee motion. The Oxford Knee may also allow for a more rapid recovery due to the use of minimally invasive instrumentation and technique. With proper use of the Oxford instruments, the operation can be performed through a small incision with great precision.


The potential advantages of a unicompartmental or partial knee replacement versus a total knee replacement include:

  • A potentially shorter incision.
  • Less bone and cartilage removed.
  • Shorter hospital stay.
  • Quicker return to activities. 

    Oxford Partial Knee Replacement

    The Oxford Uni-Knee implant is designed to restore function and reduce pain for patients with osteoarthritis on the inside part of the knee. The implant features a polyethylene (plastic) bearing that is designed to glide freely throughout the knee's range of motion, more closely replicating normal movement. The implant is currently the only fully mobile bearing uni-knee system available in the United States. The implant has been used in Europe for years and has shown excellent clinical results.


    Potential complications during and after surgery include, but are not limited to, infection, blood clots, implant breakage, malalignment and premature wear. There are many things your surgeon may do to minimize complications. Please speak with your orthopaedic surgeon about potential complications.


    Recovery after uni-knee replacement typically takes approximately half as long as traditional total knee replacement. Most people should be able to drive after two weeks, garden after three to four weeks and golf after six to eight weeks. Your surgeon will tell you when you can return to these and other activities and will also tell you which activities to avoid.

    To Find Out More

    UK Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine

    Joint Reconstruction and Replacement