Partial Knee Replacement

Table of Contents

What is Partial Knee Replacement?

Partial knee replacement is an alternative to total knee replacement when only a portion of the knee has been damaged from osteoarthritis while the other parts remain healthy. The surgery can replace the inside (medial), outside (lateral) or kneecap.

During the surgery, only the damaged part of the knee will be replaced with an implant, and the rest of the knee will be preserved. The surgery usually involves smaller incisions, which reduces the recovery time. A partial knee replacement aims to help improve pain and mobility of the knee.

When Do You Need a Partial Knee Replacement?

Partial knee replacement is most commonly recommended for patients suffering from advanced knee osteoarthritis. This is when the cartilage suffers from wear and tear and begins to degrade, causing the bones to rub against each other.

Partial knee replacement is also offered to patients with joint diseases and deformities of the knee. If the condition has worsened and the pain and lack of mobility is affecting everyday life, surgery will be the recommended course of action.

Since a partial knee replacement preserves most of the healthy knee tissues and bones, the range of motion and knee function after the surgery feels more natural. Due to its less invasive technique, the possibility of complications is minimised, less blood is lost during the surgery, and recovery is much quicker.

As with any surgery, partial knee replacement surgery also has its risks. Although rare, it is possible to experience:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Stiffness
  • Nerve damage
  • Loosening of implant

A partial knee replacement also has a higher possibility of revisions, especially if the osteoarthritis has progressed to damage the other knee compartments.

Schedule an Appointment Today, Early Diagnosis Can Prevent Further Complications

If you are currently experiencing knee pain and joint pain, and wish to seek treatment, contact our clinic to schedule an appointment. Seeking treatment early allows our doctor to appropriately diagnose and treat your knee condition, preventing potential further complications.

What to Expect During a Partial Knee Replacement Surgery?

A partial knee replacement surgery is usually 1-2 hours long and is most often done under general anaesthesia.

Step 1: The surgeon will first make an incision at the front of the knee to inspect the damaged compartment.

Step 2: The cartilage is then removed from the damaged area of the knee.

Step 3: A metal implant is positioned where the cartilage was removed and is fixed in place with cement.

Step 4: A plastic insert will be placed between the metal implants to create a smooth surface.

Step 5: The surgical site is then closed with incisions.


After a partial knee replacement surgery, patients usually stay in the hospital for another 1-2 days. Mobility and function of the knees should return quickly, and patients will be able to walk with a walker or crutch for the first few days.

Pain and discomfort are normal in the first week, but this can be managed with prescribed oral medication. Once discharged from the hospital, patients will have to work with a physical therapist for 2-4 weeks to regain the strength of the knee and improve mobility.

Regular mobility will return within 3-6 weeks. With consistent physical therapy, patients can resume more strenuous activities and exercises 6-8 weeks after surgery. High-impact exercises like jogging and running may not be recommended, but activities like tennis, biking and golfing are safe after a partial knee replacement surgery.

What is the Cost of Partial Knee Replacement Surgery in Singapore?

According to MOH’s fee guideline, a knee replacement surgery costs an average of $36,000 at a private hospital. This fee is calculated before deducting your personal insurance plans (Integrated Shield Plans, Medishield Life) and MediSave payouts. The maximum MediSave payout you can obtain for a simple knee replacement surgery is $4,650.

Dr Kau is on the panel for most major local insurers. Talk to our team and your insurance agent to understand the out-of-pocket fees required for a knee replacement surgery.

Get In Touch With Our Orthopaedic Specialist Today

If you are experiencing joint pain and suspect you may be suffering from conditions related to the knee, hip, shoulder, spine, foot, ankle, elbow, wrist, or hand – allow Dr Kau to set you on the path towards recovery. Our orthopaedic specialist, Dr Kau Chung Yuan is experienced in treating patients of all ages with varying orthopaedic conditions. You should not have to be in pain, make your appointment today.

Frequently Asked Questions

A knee implant can last an average of 15-20 years.

A partial knee replacement surgery cannot cure arthritis. It can only remove the damage and pain caused by the condition.

A partial knee replacement has a higher risk of needing a revision surgery compared to a total knee replacement.

Patients can return to normal mobility after 3-6 weeks but full recovery may take several months.

Patients will be able to climb stairs after a partial knee placement but will require walking aids in the first few weeks after surgery.

Insurance Partners

We collaborate with most major insurance partners in Singapore to ensure our patients’ peace of mind in their treatment journey. We understand the importance of financial considerations and offer assistance and financing information to our patients. Please reach out to our staff and we will be happy to provide you with the information you require.

Patient Feedbacks

Dr Kau was very careful and explained clearly the surgery procedures. After surgery, the care while I was in hospital was closely monitored and he even came during weekends! The hip so far has recovered and healed. His ‘predictions’ of when what can happen are so accurate. Trust him.

Ming Lee Chua

Dr. Kau is an exemplary doctor who is experienced in his field and is very patient with his patients. He walked me through the details of my knee condition and addressed all my concerns. Thanks to Dr. Kau, I had a better understanding of my ACL and MCL injury and the various treatment options available. His advice and treatment have been very valuable to me.

Ethan Chan

I had a very successful total hip replacement done by Dr Kau 4 years ago. 4 months after the operation I was back walking, cycling and swimming. The beautiful job gave me much confidence Dr Kau is most professional and has such great doctor patient communication.

Teo Pek Suan Diana

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If you have any enquiry, please do get in touch. Leave us a message and we will get back to you shortly.