Bi-compartmental Knee Replacement

The knee joint is made up of three compartments: the patella-femoral (anterior), medial (inside), and lateral (outside) compartments. A total knee is when all three compartments are resurfaced. A uni-compartmental knee is when only one compartment is replaced. A bi-compartmental knee is when 2 of the 3 compartments are replaced.

There are 3 types of bi-compartmental replacements:

     1. medial and lateral

     2. medial and patella-femoral

     3. lateral and patella-femoral

When doing a bi-compartmental knee replacement only the damaged compartments are replaced. The normal compartments and ligaments are preserved. The surgical technique that I utilize is an in-lay technique that is very bone conserving. With time, all replacements will wear and revision may be necessary. In that situation a revision can be done of the specific part that wore out can be done, or the knee can be revised to a total knee.  A bi-compartmental knee leaves more options for future revisions.

     As of July 30, 2012, of my last 100 knee replacements, 60% were partial knees of the medial or lateral compartment, 11% were bi-compartmental knee replacements replacing two of the three compartments of the knee, 7% were partial knee replacement of the patella-femoral joint, and 22% were total knees. This would indicate that approximately 78% of the time when surgery is required, a full knee replacement can be avoided.

Here are examples of the various types of bi-compartmental knee replacments:

    Medial & Lateral:


                  Model                                                           Pre-surgery                              Post-surgery


     Medial & Patella


      Model                                                                          Pre-surgery                            Post-surgery             


    Lateral & Patella


         Pre-surgery                            Post-surgery


Anatomy & Surgical Animations of Knee Replacement Surgery

Click on the link below to learn more about the knee or to view animations of knee surgeries.

Knee Animations

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