If your surgeon suggests that you have a unicompartmental knee replacement surgery done soon, you may wonder what the surgery is and why do you need it. The surgery replaces only the damaged parts of your knee instead of the entire knee. To help clarify the surgery further, here are facts about unicompartmental knee replacement and what you may expect to happen after your surgeon performs it. 

What Exactly Is a Unicompartmental Knee Replacement?

Sometimes, arthritis, injury, and disease only causes issues or damages in small areas of the knee joints. If the damage doesn't cause problems with the entire knee, a surgeon may perform a unicompartmental, or partial knee replacement surgery, instead of a complete knee replacement procedure. 

A unicompartmental knee surgery involves removing diseased or injured tissue with an artificial material, such as stainless steel and titanium. The materials used to resurface or replace damaged cartilage and bone in the knees are biocompatible with your body's natural tissues. This means that your immune system, cells, and other tissues will accept the material instead of reject it. 

You'll generally need to stay in the hospital post-surgery for at least two days. If you do well with your procedure, your doctor may allow you to leave in one day. Your surgical site will feel sore and look swollen, but your surgeon will expect these side effects to occur. 

Once you arrive home, you can improve your recovery with the right tips.

How Do You Protect Your Knee After Surgery?

You should try to follow your surgeon's home care instructions as much as possible to avoid complications in your knee. If possible, ask someone to help you cook, clean, and care for your children and pets. Although you can bear some weight on your knee, you don't want to overwhelm it with too much stress.

Also, keep your knee raised on soft pillows when you recline, sit or lie down. You want to encourage the blood in your entire leg to flow properly to prevent blood clots. Elevating your knee can help you avoid this health risk.

If your doctor recommends that you sleep on your back to avoid moving or aggravating your knee, invest in a positioning or wedge pillow during your recovery. A positioning pillow will help you remain in that position during the night. It's a good idea that you consult with your surgeon about the best type of pillow to purchase for your recovery.

If you have additional questions about your upcoming knee surgery, contact a orthopedic doctor or surgeon today.