Bone Joint J 2015;97-B(10 Suppl A):3–8.

Unicompartmental knee arthroplasty

D. W. Murray, A. D. Liddle, C. A. F. Dodd, H. Pandit

There is a large amount of evidence available about the relative merits of unicompartmental and total knee arthroplasty (UKA and TKA). Based on the same evidence, different people draw different conclusions and as a result, there is great variability in the usage of UKA.


The revision rate of UKA is much higher than TKA and so some surgeons conclude that UKA should not be performed. Other surgeons believe that the main reason for the high revision rate is that UKA is easy to revise and, therefore, the threshold for revision is low. They also believe that UKA has many advantages over TKA such as a faster recovery, lower morbidity and mortality and better function. They therefore conclude that UKA should be undertaken whenever appropriate.


The solution to this argument is to minimise the revision rate of UKA, thereby addressing the main disadvantage of UKA. The evidence suggests that this will be achieved if surgeons use UKA for at least 20% of their knee arthroplasties and use implants that are appropriate for these broad indications.

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