Knee Replacement Surgery Options
Typically, arthritis is the most common reason for a knee replacement surgery to be performed. For those with severe joint deterioration in their knees, everyday life can be a struggle. Chronic pain from damaged knee cartilage can make it difficult to walk, climb stairs or even stand.
When medication and physical therapy fails to relieve knee pain and improve range-of-motion, a knee replacement surgery may be necessary.
Total Knee Replacement
A total knee replacement is reserved for patients who have chronic knee pain and very little range of motion. In most cases, several areas of tissue in the knee have deteriorated and caused the bones in the knee to rub together. The procedure is performed in four steps:
- Remove Damaged Bone & Tissue: Small amounts of bone under the kneecap as well as damaged cartilage surfaces at the end of the thigh bone are removed.
- Metal Implants are Positioned: Small metal components are fitted to the areas of bone where cartilage has been removed.
- The Kneecap is Resurfaced: In some cases, a plastic button is placed underneath of the kneecap to help aid proper motion between the two metal components.
- A Spacer is Inserted: A spacer is a shaped piece of plastic that is inserted between the metal components to create a smooth, gliding surface.
While this procedure won’t imitate a completely normal and healthy knee, it will provide pain relief, improve mobility and provide a higher quality of life.
Partial Knee Replacement
Usually done as an alternative to a total knee replacement, a partial knee replacement is typically performed when one side or one part of the knee has been affected by arthritis or injury. With a partial knee replacement, only the damaged part of the knee cartilage is removed and replaced with artificial tissue.
Compared to a total knee replacement, the knee better preserves range of motion and function due to the healthy tissue being spared. Because of the less extensive nature to this procedure, the recovery time is often much faster.
Osteotomy of the Knee
Over time, osteoarthritis can develop in a specific area of the knee if the bones do not line up properly. This can add stress to the inner or outer part of the knee. An osteotomy of the knee removes a piece of the bone in either the tibia or femur in order to reshape the knee in a way that relieves pressure. This procedure aims to:
- Relieve pressure on one area of the knee
- Correct improper knee alignment
- Prolong the life of healthy knee joints