Walking, running, crouching, jumping, and turning - it's all part of our lives in motion. When knee pain interferes with your ability to move and is not solved by nonsurgical means, your doctor may recommend knee replacement.
The knee joint is made up of the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), the upper end of the shin bone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). Cartilage covers the bone ends where they meet and helps to cushion the joint and protect it from wear. Supporting and moving parts - bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons - help the knees do their job, but each of these structures is subject to disease and injury. Knee problems are a very common complaint that can occur in people of all ages. Osteoarthritis is a common cause of knee pain and typically begins after age 50.
Who should have Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement is often the best solution for people with severe knee damage. If you have knee pain and medicine and other treatments are no longer working, your doctor may recommend knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty. As mentioned, one of the most common causes of knee pain is osteoarthritis – also known as "wear and tear" arthritis. Conservative treatments such as steroidal and non-steroidal drugs, and physical therapy may effectively relieve pain and restore mobility. However, more severe pain and disability may require knee resurfacing (replacement) surgery.
Those who are eligible for a knee replacement surgery include those who have:
- Knee pain that has failed to respond to conservative therapy (including medication, injections, and physical therapy for 6 months or more)
- Knee pain limits or prevents activities of importance to the patient
- Arthritis of the knee
- Decreased knee function caused by arthritis
- Inability to sleep through the night because of knee pain
What are Total and Partial Knee Replacements?
During a total knee replacement, the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the surface of your knee joint and replaces them with a man-made surface of metal and plastic, called a prosthetic. In a partial knee replacement, the surgeon only replaces one part of your knee joint. For more information on minimally invasive Partial Knee Replacement please click here.