Unicompartmental arthritis is not uncommon in some younger patients. Many have had the meniscus removed from a previous injury and now years later, arthritis has badly damaged the joint. Pain, stiffness, and loss of motion and function are common.
Joint replacement isn't a good option yet for young adults. Too much bone loss and an implant that only lasts 10 to 15 years makes another replacement difficult. It is possible to have a unicompartmental replacement.
This is an attractive option for middle-aged patients. It only removes and replaces the portion of the joint that's arthritic. Most of the bone is spared making it possible to have a total joint replacement later.
Ask your surgeon if you might be a good candidate for this procedure. You may also want to consider looking into gastric bypass surgery. If weight loss isn't possible, it may be a way to lose weight and protect your joints from future deterioration. Talk to your doctor about your total health picture and find out what all your options are.