Knee Arthroplasty

Partial Knee Arthroplasty Shortens Recovery Time in Patients With Medial Knee OA

Jessica Ganga

Patients who underwent unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA) experienced a shorter recovery time compared to patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty (TKA) based on two performance-based tests, according to a recent randomized controlled study.

In total, 99 patients with isolated medial knee osteoarthritis (OA) were included in the final analysis that compared patients who underwent medial UKA (n = 50) and TKA (n = 49). The researchers measured recovery performance using the 2-minute walk and the Timed Up-and-Go tests and compared the mean results of each patient group preoperatively and at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months, and 1 and 2 years postoperatively.

Patients who underwent UKA performed better on both tests when compared with patients who underwent TKA. The mean 2-minute walk test was longer (patients walked a longer distance) for patients who underwent UKA compared with patients who underwent TKA. For example, at 6 weeks post-op, the results for UKA patients were 96.5 m ± 22.6 m compared with 81.1 m ± 19.1 m for patients who underwent TKA—a difference of 18 m (95% confidence interval, 10.4 m to 25.6 m); p < 0.001.

The Timed-Up-and-Go test presented similar values with the patients who underwent UKA showing shorter times than those who had TKA.

“The [2-minute walk test] indicated that UKA for isolated medial knee OA enabled faster recovery than TKA did at 6 weeks to 6 months, and earlier recovery was also seen with the [Timed-Up-and-Go] at 6 weeks to 3 months,” the researchers concluded. “The [2-minute walk test] and [Timed-Up-and-Go] results after UKA and TKA were similar to one another at 1 and 2 years.”



Pongcharoen B, Liengwattanakol P, Boontanapibul K. Comparison of functional recovery between unicompartmental and total knee arthroplasty. J Bone Joint Surg Am. Published online December 21, 2022. doi:10.2106/JBJS.21.00950