Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement, also called total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which the worn-out or damaged surfaces of the knee joint are removed and replaced with artificial parts. The knee is made up of the femur (thigh-bone), the tibia (shin-bone), and patella (kneecap). The meniscus, the soft cartilage between the femur and tibia, serves as a cushion and helps absorb shock during motion. Arthritis (inflammation of the joints), injury, or other diseases of the joint can damage this protective layer of cartilage, causing extreme pain and difficulty in performing daily activities. Your doctor may recommend surgery if non-surgical treatment options have failed to relieve the symptoms.
Total knee replacement surgery is commonly indicated for severe osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of knee arthritis in which the joint cartilage gradually wears away. It often affects older people.
In a normal joint, articular cartilage allows for smooth movement within the joint, whereas in an arthritic knee the cartilage itself becomes thinner or completely absent. In addition, the bones become thicker around the edges of the joint and may form bony “spurs”. All of these factors can cause pain and restricted range of motion in the joint.
Your doctor may advise total knee replacement if you have:
- Severe knee pain which limits your daily activities (such as walking, getting up from a chair or climbing stairs)
- Moderate to severe pain that occurs during rest or awakens you at night
- Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that is not relieved with rest or medications
- Failure to obtain pain relief from medications, injections, physical therapy, or other conservative treatments
- A bow-legged knee deformity
It is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain, correct leg deformity, and help you resume your normal activities of daily living.
The exact cause of osteoarthritis is not known, however there are a number of factors that are commonly associated with the onset of arthritis and may include:
- Injury or trauma to the joint