Unicompartmental Knee Arthroplasty Periprocedural Care

Updated: Jun 29, 2020
  • Author: Nanne P Kort, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD, FAAOS, FAOA  more...
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Periprocedural Care


Advances in instrumentation for unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) have increased the surgeon’s ability to implant the components in proper alignment and should theoretically increase the longevity of the arthroplasty. Instrumentation is crucial for proper alignment and orientation with some types of UKA systems, such as the Oxford Phase III prosthetic. [30, 31, 32]  Other prosthetic systems, such as the Repicci II, rely more on anatomic landmarks to ensure proper component placement.


Patient Preparation

The patient is placed in a supine position, with the draped leg set on a thigh support or in a legholder. In positioning the patient, it is necessary to ensure that the knee is free to flex to at least 110-120°.

A sandbag or other bump is affixed to the table to help maintain flexion of the knee. A strap placed around the thigh and leg may serve the same function. The leg is draped free, and it is helpful to place a mark or ball of tape over the anterior superior iliac spine or the femoral head.


Monitoring & Follow-up

Mobilization of the knee and patient can start on postoperative day 1. Recovery of knee function is usually rapid, with considerably less pain than that which occurs with a total knee arthroplasty (TKA). Early mobilization is encouraged, and passive assistance by the physical therapist is advised. The patient can frequently be discharged after 2-3 days. In some centers, the procedure is now performed in day care.

Mechanical prophylaxis against deep vein thrombosis is recommended for the duration of the hospitalization. Postdischarge prophylaxis is at the discretion of the surgeon.