Improved Results after UKRReplacing just part of a knee joint because of arthritic changes is on the rise. Early reports of unicompartmental knee replacement (UKR) weren't very favorable. Since then results have improved. In this study, researchers at the Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois, report on the long-term results of UKR in 62 patients. All received the same kind of implant (Miller-Galante cemented modular implant). All were followed for at least 10 years.
It seems that better methods of surgery, improved tools, and more careful patient selection has made a difference. The UKR requires a shorter hospital stay with lower costs. The patient is walking sooner than with a total knee replacement (TKR). The UKR holds up well under normal wear and tear.
The main problem is continued wear on the side of the joint that wasn't replaced. At some point the patient may need to convert to a TKR. In this study only two of the 62 patients needed revision surgery to replace the entire joint. Ninety-six percent of the patients still had the UKR after 10 or more years.
The authors conclude that the Miller-Galante UKR implant used in their study has excellent results. Both the X-rays and clinical exam confirm this result up to and beyond 10 years after the original operation. Careful selection of patients is still required for the best results.
Richard A. Berger, MD, et al. Results of Unicompartemtal Knee Arthroplasty at a Minimum of Ten Years of Follow-up. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. May 2005. Vol. 87-A. No. 5. Pp. 999-1006.
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