Half Knee Replacement

Surgery Time

5-20 minutes

Hospital Stay

Approximately 5 hours. This is an outpatient procedure and rarely do you have to stay overnight.

Average Total Recovery Time

2-5 weeks


Two keyhole incisions

Possible Complications

Infection, nerve damage, circulatory damage, and anesthesia risk

Before Being Discharged

Make sure you void before leaving the hospital, especially men. You will get written medication prescriptions, you may fill these if at the hospital.

Elevate Your knee

Elevate your knee above your heart when able and ice your knee for 20 minutes 4 times a day.


You will have a bulky dressing on your leg that you remove after 24-48 hours. Cover your incisions with gauze or band-aids, and re-wrap you knee with the ace wrap from surgery.  Mesh over the incisions will be removed after 2 weeks. If there is a drain, it will be removed before you leave the hospital.


You may shower after removing your bulky dressing, allowing water to run over the incisions.  Pat dry and cover with gauze or band-aids before re-wrapping with the ace wrap from your bulky dressing.


You will be given Percocet or Norco for pain.  You can take an anti-inflammatory (Aleve/Advil) with or instead of the prescriptions pain meds.  Robaxin will help with muscle spasms or cramps.


You may drive 2-10 days after surgery if you are not on narcotic pain medication and if you can stomp your right foot without pain.


You may need crutches or a walker for a couple of days after surgery until you are able to walk without assistance. For the first 2 days you should take it easy and elevate your leg above your heart. Ice your knee every hour while awake for 20-30 minutes.


You may either ice your knee with ice bags or rent a Game Ready ice machine for $120 a week.  You will need 14-8 oz bottles of frozen water for the Game Ready machine.  Call or text Kameron to order a Game Ready at 205-269-0200.


1. Quad isometric exercises

Extend your leg and flex your foot toward your face. Tighten your quads. Hold for 20 seconds.  Repeat 10 times. Do this 3-4 times a day.

2. Pumping your feet

Pump your feet throughout the day. This helps with blood flow.

3. Recumbent bike

Ride a recumbent bike starting 3-4 days after surgery. Start out riding the bike 10 minutes, increase your time gradually, until you are riding the bike 20-30 minutes. Remember, only ride it EVERY OTHER DAY.

4. Knee Flexion/Extension Exercises

Lean back in chair or lie down on bed. Raise operative leg up and grasp your thigh with both hands, slowly straighten leg, and let knee bend letting gravity pull foot down. Do this 3-4 times slowly, three or four times a day. 

Returning to Work

You should be able to resume desk work and light duty activities in 3-7 days, and more strenuous activities in 2 weeks. Job duties will dictate return to work. 

Post-Op Appointment

Your post-op appointment will be approximately 2 weeks after surgery.

Call (205) 783-5900 to schedule your appointment.

Outpatient Physical Therapy

This can be beneficial and we do offer this either on request or at our recommendation after your 2 week post op appointment.

Case of the Week - Unicondylar Knee ReplacementDr. Bramlett explains the details of a Partial Knee Replacement

This procedure involves replacing a single compartment of the knee with a custom cobalt chrome implant. This allows for an easier recovery and simpler surgery by comparison to a full knee replacement.