Knee replacement surgery is the most common joint replacement procedure. Well over a half 1 million knee replacement surgical procedures are performed every year in the United States. Many people have knee arthritis, but it can be difficult to know when the right time to have a knee replacement surgery is. Furthermore, there is confusion about what to expect from knee replacement surgery. Do you have questions? Look no further.
Total Knee Replacement
When you have a knee injury or arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, the damage, inflammation, and pain can limit your ability to flex and extend your knees. Over time, the deterioration of your joint and surrounding tissue can make it difficult to perform basic daily activities, even sitting and lying down. Knee replacement surgery is a common solution for people whose knees have become too worn from this deterioration.
Knee replacement provides dramatic pain relief for more than 90 percent of those who’ve undergone this surgery. Most of these procedures are done to replace knees damaged by osteoarthritis. Total knee replacement is considered one of the safest and most effective procedures in orthopedics.
During a total knee replacement, a surgeon removes some bone and cartilage from the areas of your thighbone and shin bone, where they meet at your knee joint. The surgeon then replaces the knee area of your thighbone with a metal implant and the knee area of your shinbone with a plastic implant. This gives both bones of your knee joint smooth surfaces again so they can flex and bend more freely and painlessly. In many cases, the surgeon also replaces the undersurface of your kneecap with a plastic coating.
Partial knee replacement
Partial knee replacement involves only replacing the part of your knee that’s damaged or arthritic. The advantage to this approach is that it requires a smaller incision. It also involves less bone and blood loss. As well, it causes less pain during recovery than a total knee replacement.
People who have a partial knee replacement tend to have a faster recovery time than those who have a total knee replacement. However, there are disadvantages, including the possibility that you’ll have to eventually have further surgery if arthritis develops in the parts of the knee that aren’t replaced.