What are the chances of going from needing a partial knee replacement to a full knee replacement?

It depends. Typically, only approximately 10% of patients with knee arthritis will qualify for a partial knee replacement based on strict criteria. However, depending on what your symptoms are, expectations, and most importantly discussions with your surgeon, the threshold to going from a partial knee replacement and ending up with a full knee replacement may change.
Not high. I agree that relatively few patients are good candidates for a partial knee replacement. But the chances of needing a conversion to a full are very low if the surgeon selects the right patient. Assuming that the author of the question has been advised by a surgeon skilled at selecting appropriate candidates for a partial, i would say that the risk is low.
High. Following strict criteria, only 5-10% of patients with knee arthritis are appropriate candidates for partial knee replacement. The goal of knee arthroplasty is to provide one successful surgery that lasts 20-25 yrs. Often, total knee replacement has a better chance of achieving this goal.
Small if done well. Success rates of well installed partial knee replacements is in the 90% at 20 years reported this year by dr. Scott at the knee society meeting. This is as good a total knee results but a good partial knee feels much more natural than a good total knee replacement. The difficult is getting a great installation every time. Using makopasty robotics consistently reproducible precision is expected.
High. Before i recommend partial knee replacement, xrays must demonstrate significant arthritic changes in only one of the three knee compartments, and the patient must convince me that their pain is emanating from that compartment. Despite fellowship training in knee arthroscopy, knee replacement, and revision knee replacement, i'd still rather provide one long-lasting surgery.

Related Questions

What are the chances of the surgery changing from a partial knee replacement to a full knee replacement?

Nearly always. A partial knee will always need to be converted to full knee after a period of time depending on the state of and demands put on the implant. Read more...
Small chance . The key to partial knee replacement long term success is proper installation. When done correctly, 90% 20 year success rates are seen. Using robotics I have performed over 500 partial knee replacements and the installation accuracy is predictably within 1mm and 1 degree. This is the most consistently, reproducible way to install a partial knee replacement. Bearings can be changed in the future. Read more...
Uncommon, age. If the partial knee replacement is performed correctly, one should expect it to last for many years. At the age of 38, you still need to avoid running for excercise, just as for a full knee replacement. If indicated, much better option for you at your very young age. Read more...

What is it like going through a partial knee replacement?

Everyone's different. A partial knee replacement involves surgically replacing damaged cartilage within just the inner or outer half of the knee joint. Although still an invasive surgery, a partial or "uni-knee" can be performed with less surgical trauma and therefore a quicker recovery than a total knee replacement. Surgery time about one hour; recovery typically about 6-8 weeks, with physical therapy. Read more...
Quick recovery. The procedure usually takes about 1 hour and patients often stay one night in the hospital. Patients need crutches and pain meds for 1-2 weeks. Many patients return to work after 2 weeks. Low impact exercises such as stationary bike are started at 2 weeks. People typically are sore from weeks 2-6 but feel as good or better than preop. Patients often return to golf and tennis at 6-12 weeks. Read more...

What is involved in a partial knee replacement?

Knee Replacement. Please see my article about partial knee replacements http://www.Orthonc.Com/articles/july-august-september-2010.Html. Read more...
Surfaces restored. When one side of your knee joints cartilage wears down , you can resurface the end of the bone with a femoral implant made of cobalt chrome and a tibial component made of titanium and polyethylene. These implants are secured to the bone with a special cement. Precision installation is the key to long term success. Robotics has made this a reproducibly excellent joint retoring procedure. Read more...
Partial Knee. With partial knee replacement, only one of the three knee compartments is replaced (or resurfaced). I have a good comparison of issues with partial versus total knee replacement on my website at the following link: http://www.andrewpearle.com/robotic/robotic-knee-resurfacing.html. Read more...

What all happens during a partial knee replacement?

Only parts of the kn. In partial replacements usually the medial or the lateral tibiofemoral joint is replaced; the indications for this are limited. Read more...
Surfaces restored. When one side of your knee joints cartilage wears down , you can resurface the end of the bone with a femoral implant made of cobalt chrome and a tibial component made of titanium and polyethylene. These implants are secured to the bone with a special cement. Precision installation is the key to long term success. Robotics has made this a reproducibly excellent joint retoring procedure. Read more...

What can I expect if I get partial knee replacement?

Partial knee. You are very Yong for any sort of replacement. But partial knees feel the most like a normal knee. Function is excellent but you cannot do too much on it or you will wear it out very quickly. . Read more...
Partial knee. You can expect relief from arthritis that involves only one compartment of the knee. The recovery is quick and patients often return to work after 2 weeks and get back to low impact sports by 6-8 weeks. However, 35 is young for a partial knee. The implant has 85-90% chance of lasting 10 years but the risks of revision are higher in young patients. Make sure there are no other options. Read more...