Partial Knee Replacement

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Dr Kau Chung Yuan (许医生)


MRCS (Ireland)

MMed (Ortho)

FRCSEd (Ortho)


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.

What are the advantages of Partial Knee Replacement?

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.

What are the possible risks of Partial Knee Replacement?

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.


Are Your Symptoms Affecting Your Quality Of Life?

Consult our MOH-accredited orthopaedic specialist for an accurate diagnosis & personalised treatment plan today.

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.


What to expect after a Partial Knee Replacement Surgery?

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.


Dr. Kau Chung Yuan

MBBS (S’pore)

MRCS (Ireland)

MMed (Ortho)

FRCSEd (Ortho)

Dr Kau (许医生) is a Fellowship trained Orthopaedic Surgeon with a subspecialty interest in Hip and Knee surgery and has been in practice for more than 15 years.

He is experienced in trauma and fracture management, sports injuries, and joint replacement surgery.

  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Orthopaedics (FRCS, Edin) 2014
  • Master of Medicine (Orthopaedics), Singapore (MMed) 2013
  • Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (MRCS, Ire) 2009
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS, Singapore) 2004

Patient Feedback

Ethan Chan
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.
Ming Lee Chua
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.
Teo Pek Suan Diana
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.

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    Mount Elizabeth Novena
    Specialist Centre
    Mount Alvernia
    Farrer Park
    38 Irrawaddy Road,
    Singapore 329563
    1, #02-01 Farrer Park Station Rd,
    Connexion, Singapore 217562

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    How long does a partial knee replacement operation last?

    The surgery can take 1-2 hours.

    How long can a knee implant last?

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

    Does a partial knee replacement get rid of arthritis?

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

    What are the disadvantages of a partial knee replacement?

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

    How long does it take to recover from a partial knee replacement?

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

    Can you climb stairs after partial knee replacement?

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