What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement is surgery for people with severe knee damage. Knee replacement can relieve pain and allow you to be more active.
Knee replacement surgery- also known as knee arthroplasty- can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. During knee replacement, a surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high grade plastics and polymers.
Knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing
surfaces of the knee joint to relieve the pain and disability of osteoarthritis. It may be
performed for knee diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. In patients
with severe deformity from advanced rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, or long standing osteoarthritis, the surgery may be more complicated and carry higher risk.
Other major causes of debilitating pain include meniscus tears, cartilage defects, and ligament tears. Debilitating pain from osteoarthritis is much more common in the elderly.
Knee replacement surgery can be performed as a partial or a total knee replacement. In general, the surgery consists of replacing the diseased or damaged joint surfaces of the knee with metal and plastic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee.
The operation involves substantial postoperative pain, and includes vigorous physical rehabilitation. The recovery period may be 6 weeks or longer and may involve the use of mobility aids (e.g. walking frames, canes, crutches) to enable the patient's return to preoperative mobility.
The healthy knee joint is a hinge joint formed by the top of the shin bone called the
tibia and the bottom of the thigh bone, or femur. Your kneecap is called the patella.
Cartilage provides padding between the bones and helps assure an effortless, smooth
gliding movement of the joint.
A special membrane called the synovial membrane produces a lubricant that contributes
to the smooth movement of the knee. When it is healthy, the knee is a remarkable
mechanism. For a knee to function normally, the quality of smoothness where each bone
moves upon the other becomes important in the function of the knee joint. Since it is
the most used joint in the body, it is not surprising that as we grow old, the joint
lining (articular cartilage) wears away and people find it painful to move –
Osteoarthritis of old age.When arthritis intrudes, however, the knee is unable to
effectively cushion the body from impact and stress.
The result is erosion of the
joint and pain that can gradually hamper your quality of life, reduce your independence
and makes it hard -- or impossible -- to do the things you want to do!!!
If you have Osteoarthritis (OA), the pain in your knee is being caused by cartilage wearing out.
While you can treat the symptoms of knee OA (such as pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving) in a variety of ways from weight loss to medications to injection therapy, there is no cure for the condition and your pain and debilitation is likely to get worse over time.
Early diagnosis of knee OA with proper treatment is important for the future of your
long-term mobility. If your doctor has recommended that you undergo a total knee
replacement, don't delay your surgery. Delaying surgery can lower your quality of
life even more than OA does on its own, both before and for up to two years after
surgery! Remember, there is no cure for OA and it is degenerative,
which means that your pain and limited mobility can get worse over time.