What is 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 an artificial prosthesis.
The knee is made up of the femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone) and patella (kneecap). The two menisci, the soft cartilage between the femur and tibia, serve as a cushion and help absorb shock during motion. Arthritis (inflammation of the joints), injury or other diseases of the joint can damage this protective layer, causing extreme pain and difficulty in performing daily activities. 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”. These factors can cause pain and restrict the range of motion in the joint.
Indications for Total Knee Replacement
The main indication for a total knee replacement is severe pain associated with knee arthritis that is interfering with your quality of life. By removing the damaged cartilage during a knee replacement, we are able to take away that pain generator. Other indications include:
- Severe knee pain that 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 knee deformity