Knee Replacement Surgery – an Overview

Knee Replacement Components
(Zimmer Orthopedics)

Knee replacement surgery involves replacing some or all of the components of the knee joint with a synthetic implant, to repair the damaged weight-bearing surfaces that are causing pain. A total knee replacement surgery replaces all three compartments of the diseased knee joint. A partial knee replacement involves an implant in just one or two compartments of the knee, retaining any undamaged parts. While there are non-surgical and surgical interventions short of knee replacement which will often provide temporary relief, the long-term resolution to most knee degeneration will be joint replacement.

There are several different implant designs (see: total implants | partial implants) but each will offer renewed stability and movement. Overall, there are two main benefits to be gained from knee replacement surgery: (1) elimination of pain and (2) improved range of motion. Of all possible surgical interventions, total knee replacement offers the greatest quality of life improvement. The procedure has a high rate of success.

In order to make an informed decision about knee replacement surgery, it may be beneficial to learn more about the various implant options and the surgery itself.

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Knee Revision

Knee Revision Surgery

A knee revision procedure involves removing and replacing a partial or total knee implant with a new implant. It can be a complex surgical procedure that may require extensive preoperative planning, specialized implants and tools, and a skilled surgeon experienced […]

ConforMIS Knee Imaging

Why Computer Imaging May Be Used Prior To Knee Replacement

Successful treatment of knee problems is aided by gathering as much information as possible about the diseased joint before forming a plan of treatment. Patients who are candidates for a knee replacement may have some form of diagnostic imaging performed […]

Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy (not to be confused with arthroplasty) comes from two Greek words and literally means “to look within the joint.”1 Arthroscopic surgery allows your orthopedic surgeon to see, diagnose, and treat problems inside your knee. Your doctor may recommend […]

manipulation under anesthesia

MUA (Manipulation Under Anesthesia) After Total Knee Replacement

Manipulation under Anesthesia is a technique for treating stiffness and poor range of motion following total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or knee revision surgery. Stiffness and decreased range of motion after TKA affects approximately 6 to 7% of patients.1 MUA […]

Damaged Knee Joint Illustration

Knee Osteoarthritis (Arthritis)

Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, is a joint inflammation that results from cartilage degeneration. Healthy cartilage acts as a specially lubricated surface in the joint and under normal conditions is perfectly smooth. When the cartilage deteriorates, it […]

knee pain from injury and arthritis

Knee Pain and Problems from Injuries, Arthritis

Many knee problems occur during sports or recreational activities, work-related tasks, or home projects. Knee problems may also manifest due to injury, disease, overuse, or just everyday wear and tear. The complex design of the knee and the fact that […]

Crooked knee straightened after knee replacement

Will my knee be straightened with surgery?

It is very common for an arthritic knee to become crooked. This deformity may even progressively worsen over time. Not only can knee replacement surgery potentially eliminate the pain caused by knee arthritis, it should correct or improve a […]

Total Knee Replacement, Imprecise Fit (image courtesy of ConforMIS)

Knee Implants: The Importance of Fit

Standardized knee replacement implants come close to fitting the knee sizes of many people however there is some evidence that if the fit is off by as little as 3mm there may be painful side effects that persist after the […]

Knee Replacement Physical Therapy

Knee Replacement Recovery: Exercises & Physical Therapy After Surgery

One of the most rewarding things to look forward to after knee replacement surgery is regaining mobility and independence that were previously compromised by an arthritic knee. In addition to getting adequate rest and managing your post-operative pain, the […]

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How successful is knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement has become the most common form of joint replacement surgery. In 2010 over 721,000 such procedures were performed in the United States.1 Between 1991 and 2010, the incidence of knee replacements increased by over 161%, due partly to […]

MIS Knee

Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement Approaches and Procedures

“Minimally invasive knee replacement” refer to several procedures and strategies that you should understand carefully. Some so-called MIS procedures are simply variations of existing techniques, others are genuine advances that go much beyond just making a smaller skin cut. […]

Knee pain

About Knee Replacement

In order to understand knee replacement it helps to first understand the knee joint itself, the types of knee replacement surgery, and a little about the knee replacement implants for each type of knee replacement. The Parts of Your Knee […]

surgical tourniquet system

Tourniquet Use in Knee Replacement Surgery

If you are considering knee replacement surgery and you are like most patients, you are a little concerned about post-operative pain and rehabilitation. In fact, the subject is well studied and “pain immediately after surgery” and “length of recovery” are […]

Pillows stacked for elevation in joint replacement recovery

Reducing Post-Operative Pain from Knee Replacement

It’s among the most common concerns for pre-operative knee patients. To be honest, there’s not an awful lot a person with arthritic knees can do before knee replacement surgery to lessen postoperative pain. When joints are damaged to the extent […]

MAKO Bicompartmental Partial Knee Implant

Partial Knee Replacement Implants

Partial knee replacement (PKR) or resurfacing is necessitated when the arthritic damage to the joint is confined to one, two, or even three compartments of your knee: (1) Medial: the inner side of the joint next to the other […]

ConforMIS Customized Implant

Knee Implants: Customized and Personalized Options

In recent years, surgeons and implant manufacturers have endeavored to provide patients of every size with knee implants to fit their specific frame. […]

Microport Types of Knee Implants

Types of Total Knee Implants

Total knee replacement implants are not one-size-fits-all or even one-style-fits-all. Prosthetic implants vary greatly by design, fixation and materials. Your implant may be a fixed- or mobile-bearing implant; a PCL-retaining design or a PCL-substituting style. It may be fixed […]

knee replacement implant materials

Knee Replacement Implant Materials

The replacement knee joint is comprised of a flat metal plate and stem implanted in your tibia, a polyethylene bearing surface and a contoured metal implant fit around the end of the femur. The use of components made from metals […]

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Bilateral Total Knee Replacement

Bilateral knee replacement surgery means that both knees are replaced at the same time. It’s relatively uncommon to have the arthritis in both knees reach the same degree at the same time where a bilateral would be a consideration. But […]

Prescription Medication Bottle / Pills

Pain Medication and Addiction after Knee or Hip Surgery

The proper use of pain medication after knee replacement surgery or hip replacement surgery is a very important aspect of recovery. When your post-op pain is controlled, your pain and stress is minimized and your body’s energies will focus on […]

Partial Knee Implant (image courtesy of ConforMIS)

Is the Plastic Used in Knee and Hip Implants Safe?

Every total knee replacement implant and many total hip replacement implants utilize ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), a plastic, in their components. In knee implants, the tibial component is a flat metal platform with a polyethylene cushion and the patellar […]

How long do hip implants last?

Durability of Knee Implants: How Long Do Knee Replacements Last?

In the 1960s and 1970s, most believed that total knee implants would last about 10 years. This was one of the reasons that knee replacement procedures were confined to older patients. As time passed, it became apparent that the great […]

Recovery from Knee Replacement

Recovering from Knee Replacement Surgery

Recovery Time One of the most common questions asked in our patient forum is “How long does it take to recover from total knee replacement surgery?” Each individual patient and circumstances differ significantly from the next. In most cases, though, […]

Stryker Triathlon Knee

Knee Implants

Although a number of factors contribute to joint disease including genetics, developmental abnormalities, repetitive injuries and obesity, arthritis is the most common reason for knee implant surgery. A diagnosis of advanced osteoarthritis of the knee will indicate the need […]

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Surgical Procedures and Other Knee Treatments

Knee replacement surgery – like all surgeries – is generally only recommended after all conservative (non-invasive) treatment options fail to provide relief from symptoms. The knee joint can be damaged by osteoarthritis, other forms of arthritis, ligament injuries, tendonitis […]

To-Do

Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

Preparation for knee replacement surgery is mental and emotional. Reduce outside distractions in your life. Be aware of all aspects of the operation, your environment, and the instructions that are given to you by doctors, nurses and specialists. Taking an active role can help you achieve a more relaxed and positive attitude. […]

Stryker: Are you a candidate for knee replacement surgery?

How do I know if I need knee replacement surgery?

The most common diagnosis of the cause of knee pain prior to knee replacement is osteoarthritis. If you are prevented from carrying out your everyday activities due to pain or discomfort in the knee, then you may have arthritis […]

second opinion about surgery

Why is it important to get a second opinion for a total knee replacement?

While total knee surgery is a common procedure with a high success rate in the US, getting a second opinion is still recommended. Each surgeon has had a specific training and education, and more experience with certain procedures over others. […]

Managing Knee Pain

How can I manage pain after my total knee replacement surgery?

Pain is a major concern for patients who are about to have total knee surgery. Post-operative knee replacement patients want to know what their life will be like after their surgery, how much discomfort they will have, and how […]

Virtual Communities for Knee Replacement Patients

Benefits of Online Communities for Knee Replacement Patients

Online patient communities and patient forums, like our own knee replacement forum, have proven to be useful sources of much needed support and information for patients, and the benefits of such online communities are becoming well documented. Also See:  […]

Clock

What are the risks of delaying my knee replacement surgery?

Patients delay knee replacement surgery for a number of reasons, mostly out of fear and misinformation. Dr. Ian Clark, a medical researcher and founder of Peterson Tribology Laboratory for joint replacement at Loma Linda University, writes, “Most patients delay unnecessarily […]

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How long does it take to recover from total knee replacement surgery?

Most patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery want to know when they’ll be able to return to their normal life. Questions about “recovery time” are common. There are many factors that can affect recovery time, but typically patients can return […]

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How to choose a hip or knee replacement surgeon and prosthesis

You’ve decided you want hip or knee replacement surgery and now it’s time to choose a surgeon and decide what kind of implant is right for me. Or maybe you’re asking the question, “When will I be ready?” Hip or […]

Time off Work

How much time will I have to be off work for knee replacement surgery?

Many patients are eager to know when they can return to work and resume their normal activities after knee replacement surgery. While the desire for a speedy recovery is nearly universal among patients, less understood and appreciated is the […]

Subcuticular Stitch

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

When a surgeon considers a patient for a total knee replacement, she takes into account your age, lifestyle, and damage to the joint. The decision to use one procedure over another, or one type of implant over another, can depend on the surgeon’s training and experience. Total knee replacement surgeries offer among the greatest success rates of all orthopedic operations. […]

surgery-doctors-nurses

Advantages of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Knee Replacement

The ultimate goal of minimally invasive surgery is not only to make a shorter skin cut, but also to reduce deep muscle trauma associated with surgery, such that pain is lessened, discharge is expedited, and the need for prolonged physical therapy is reduced. […]

Partial Knee Replacement vs. Total Knee Replacement

What is the difference between total knee replacement and partial knee replacement?

If the knee joint disease is restricted to the inner side of the knee, your surgeon may simply reshape the damaged surfaces (partial (aka: "uni")). Not all patients are candidates, but a uni is considered less invasive and can require shorter recovery time than total knee replacement. […]

ConforMIS-iTotal-Knee-Implant

Choosing a Knee Implant / Prosthesis

One of the most important things you will want to discuss with your chosen knee surgeon is the type of knee replacement prosthesis he or she will be implanting. There is most certainly no single  “best prosthesis” on the market. […]

MAKOplasty

Computer-Assisted Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery

In computer-assisted robotic surgery, a robot acts as an extension of the surgeon’s eyes and hands in a minimally invasive surgery to replace an arthritic knee. The robotics help surgeons operate more effectively through a smaller incision. Total knee […]

Knee Arthroscopy

Conservative or Non-Invasive Treatment for Knee Pain

Knee replacement surgery – like all surgeries – is generally only recommended after all conservative (non-invasive) treatment options fail to provide relief from symptoms. There are a number of non-surgical treatment options for knee pain caused by osteoarthritis and other […]

Metal Ruler

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS) for Knee Replacement

Improvements in technique and surgical instrumentation allow today’s surgeons to insert prosthetic knee joints using shorter skin cuts with less surgical trauma, resulting in fewer days spent in the hospital. These most recent trends in knee replacement surgery focus on […]

Knee_Replacement_Approaches

Knee Replacement Approaches

What exactly happens during a total knee replacement surgery? How does the surgeon remove the existing knee joint components and replace them with a prosthetic implant? The surgery begins with an incision into the tissue to allow access […]

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Other Surgical Interventions for Knee Conditions

In most cases of joint degeneration, surgical intervention will be the appropriate means to long-term relief and mobility. There are several different surgeries which you and your surgeon may consider, depending on the specifics of your condition. Total knee […]

Knee Scar

Possible Knee Replacement Surgery Complications

As with any surgical procedure, complications may occur following knee replacement. Surgeons will counsel their patients regarding these possible complications (and their probabilities) before consenting to any surgery. Bloodclots in the veins of the legs Bloodclots (thrombosis) are the […]

knee replacement examination

Reasons for Knee Replacement Surgery

Although there are several conditions which may lead to the need for knee replacement, arthritis (whether it be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or traumatic arthritis) is the most common reason. A number of other factors contribute to joint disease […]

Anatomic Knee

About the Knee Joint

To fully understand your knee degeneration, the knee replacement procedure and the mechanics of your knee implant, you will first need to know a bit about the knee joint itself and how it functions. While damage or wear […]

Doctor

Choosing a Knee Replacement Surgeon

You’ve suffered through pain and discomfort related to your knee degeneration and have finally decided to consult with an orthopedic surgeon. Choosing the right orthopedic surgeon is very important to a successful surgery and recovery. A few considerations when […]

Oxford Knee (Biomet)

Knee Resurfacing and Partial Knee Replacement

Knee Resurfacing (also known as Partial Knee Resurfacing, Partial Knee Replacement (PKR)) retains the healthy compartments of your knee joint and only replaces the damaged surfaces. Resurfacing may be an option for you if the arthritic deterioration of your knee […]

Total Knee Implant

Total Knee Replacement Implants

A total knee replacement replaces your diseased knee joint with man-made components, eliminating the damaged bearing surfaces that are causing pain. A diagnosis of advanced osteoarthritis of the knee will indicate the need for total replacement of the knee […]

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