Bicompartmental Partial Knee Replacement

ER - Madison

8 min Average
UnityPoint Health - Madison

Bicompartmental Partial Knee Replacement

The bicompartmental partial knee replacement removes both the medial (inside) compartment and the patellofemoral (kneecap) compartment and replaces them with an implant.

Who is a Candidate?

Patients who have pain and arthritis in the patellofemoral (kneecap) compartment and medial (inside) compartment.

A good candidate for partial knee replacement over a total knee replacement if:

  • The patient has anterior and medial knee pain
  • The patient has an almost normal range of motion in their knee (90 degrees)
  • The patient's knee is stable

Benefits of This Procedure Compared to a Total Knee Replacement

  • Preservation of all ligaments of the knee, including the ACL and PCL
  • Less tissue trauma due to a minimally invasive approach
  • Preservation of bone
  • Decreased blood loss
  • Decreased post-operative pain
  • Reduced post-operative medication
  • Faster rehab/recovery time
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Better range of motion in the knee
  • More normal knee kinematics

What is a Bicompartmental Partial Knee Replacement?

To perform a bicompartmental partial knee replacement, the surgeon will make a 3-4 inch incision in the front of the patient's knee. The surgeon will properly balance the patient's knee.

The patellofemoral and the medial compartments are resurfaced to accommodate the implant. The third, healthy compartment remains untouched. The new bi-compartment implant is properly positioned into place. The incision is then closed and a bandage is applied.

Medial and patellofemoral compartment arthritis accounts for approximately 75% of knee arthritis. The bi-compartmental knee replacement targets the medial and patellofemoral compartments, sparing the lateral condylar bone and cruciate ligaments. Bone preservation is important for younger, active patients. Ligament preservation may be even more important for natural feeling during physical activity.

Since the normal knee kinematics is changed by having knee replacement, it may feel different to perform daily activities. The shape and motion of the knee will be different than with the natural knee, so the muscles and ligaments will need to adapt. At first, this may lead discomfort and fatigue for the patient.

The Allergic Alternative

If a patient is allergic to a type of metal that the implant is made of, then the surgeon will change the type of metal to make it possible for the patient to have the procedure.


After the procedure, the patient will need a walker or crutches for 2 weeks. Most patients are discharged from the hospital two days after surgery. After physical therapy, patients should only perform low-impact activities so their bones and muscles can adjust to the new implant.

Call Your Surgeon If You Have

  • Increased swelling in the knee or lower leg
  • Persistent pain not relieved by pain medication
  • Abnormal side effects from anesthesia or medication
  • Increased drainage or redness from the incision site