Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common bone surgeries in the country. Whether you need the surgery is a decision that you and your doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, carefully make together. More than 90% of people who have had their knees replaced see a huge improvement in pain and their ability to get around.
Known as arthroplasty, knee replacement surgery replaces the damaged parts of your knee with artificial parts. Several million Indian live with such implants.
You might get surgery for a number of reasons:
Before you have surgery, your surgeon will take your medical history and do a physical exam that includes X-rays and possibly blood tests. Your doctor will use those X-rays to figure out what the damage inside your knee looks like. The doctor will also want to see how strong the muscle support around your knee is, and how well you can move the joint.
As with all surgeries, tell your doctor what medications you are on, including blood thinners, aspirin, or other drugs. They’ll also need to know if you have a history of infections, bleeding, or blood clots. You also shouldn’t eat for 8 hours before the surgery.
Most total knee replacement operations involve replacing the joint surface at the end of your thigh bone (femur) and the joint surface at the top of your shin bone (tibia).
A total knee replacement may also involve replacing the under-surface of your kneecap (patella) with a smooth plastic dome. Some surgeons prefer to preserve the natural patella if possible, but sometimes the decision will need to be made during the operation.
If you’ve had a previous operation to remove the patella altogether (patellectomy), this won’t stop you having a knee replacement, but it may affect the type of replacement part (prosthesis) your surgeon uses.
The new parts are normally cemented in place. If cement is not used then the surface of the component facing the bone is textured or coated to encourage bone to grow onto it, forming a natural bond.
Another common technique is to use a mobile plastic bearing which isn’t firmly fixed to the metal parts. This may help to reduce wear on your new joint, though it isn’t hasn't been shown to provide better long-term results.
Partial knee replacement (also called unicompartmental knee arthroplasty - UKA) is surgery that may be used to treat severe knee arthritis that effects only one part of the knee. A knee surgeon may recommend knee joint replacement if someone has:
In a partial knee replacement, only the damaged compartment is replaced with a new metal and plastic surface. The healthy cartilage and bone in the rest of the knee is left alone. Usually partial knee replacements use implants placed between the end of the thigh bone and the top of the shin bone. Some types of partial knee replacements can also replace the part of the joint under the kneecap.