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Unicompartmental (Partial) Knee Replacement FAQs

Unicompartmental (Partial) Knee Replacement


Unicompartmental (Partial) Knee Replacement is a major surgical procedure that comes with it’s own set of recovery and risk factors.

When can I walk after a partial knee replacement?

Full weight-bearing and walking is allowed immediately after total knee replacement. Initially, this will be aided by crutches. We get all patients mobilising Day 1 after their operation on crutches.

When can I drive after partial knee replacement?

You should not drive for at least 48 hours after an anaesthetic. After 48 hours, your ability to drive will depend on the side you had your operation, left or right, the type of vehicle you drive, manual or automatic and what type of pain relief you are taking. It is generally reasonable to drive when you are confident with walking and can fully weight-bear on your affected side. The usual recommendation is 6 weeks.

When can I work after partial knee replacement?

Your return to work will vary depending on the type of work you are engaged in. Most people can return to office work within 4-6 weeks. More strenuous manual work, may require 3-6 months before returning to duties.

When can I play sports after partial knee replacement?

Low impact activities, such as cycling (exercise bike) and hydrotherapy, can be commenced from week 2.  Walking for exercise can be commenced from week 6.  More strenuous activities such as tennis takes 3-4 months.  Note, this is highly variable and intended as a rough guide only .

How long will I take to heal after partial knee replacement?

The wounds take 7-10 days to heal. Most patients improve dramatically in the first 6-12 weeks. Occasionally, there are periods where the knee may become sore and then settle again. The knee may be swollen for some time post surgery.  This is part of the normal healing process.  Continued improvements may be gained up to 1 year post-surgery.

Which implants does Dr Slattery use?

Dr Slattery only uses implants with proven long term survival on the Australian Joint Registry.

How much pain will I experience after partial knee replacement?

Some discomfort is to be expected after major knee surgery.  A local anaesthetic is injected around the wound during the procedure and a local anaesthetic catheter is placed in the wound after the procedure to minimise any pain you may experience.  Knee replacements can be quite uncomfortable initially, and it is important to stay on top of your pain with medications to allow you to do your exercises and physiotherapy.

Will I beep going through metal detectors at airports?

Maybe.  It depends upon the settings of the metal detector in use, some countries have higher sensitivities than others, so whilst you may not set them off in Australia you may do so overseas.  Normally it is not an issue if you tell them in advance you have had a knee replacement.


To book an appointment please contact Dr Slattery’s rooms on
03 5752 5020 mobile
We aim to see all fractures within 24hrs