The purpose of this systematic review is to collate results of studies comparing fixed and mobile bearing unicompartmental knee arthroplasty (UKA), focusing on complications and timing for reoperations. Out of 723 results derived from PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane database search engines on bearings in arthroplasty, 10 studies comparing clinical results of fixed bearings to mobile bearings in UKA were found eligible for analysis. The reoperation rate was calculated using a novel method such as reoperations per hundred component years, and the causes of specific reoperations were investigated. The overall reoperation rate per hundred component years was similar between the mobile bearings (1.392) and fixed bearings (1.377); however, mobile bearings were more susceptible to reoperations in cases with aseptic loosening (0.393>0.255), progression of arthritis (0.428>0.357) and implant dislocation (0.286>0). The overall incidence of complications is similar for fixed and mobile bearing designs in UKA. The discussion on complications presented above may assist surgeons in their choice of bearing design.