Total Knee replacement
f all non-surgical measures for treating your knee pain and inflammation have been explored, you might be a candidate for total knee replacement. This procedure is often the only option for restoring an active, pain-free life.
The operation involves removing the damaged surfaces of the knee and replacing them with an artificial joint implant. The operation takes about an hour to perform and the patient needs to stay in hospital for 5 to 7 days. It takes about 6 weeks to recover from the surgery, return to work and drive a car.
Total knee replacement is an extremely successful operation for most patients. Contrary to popular belief, no one is too young to be considered for a knee replacement if the symptoms are bad enough.
The knee is the largest joint in the body. It is commonly referred to as a “hinge” joint because it allows the knee to flex and extend. While hinges can only bend and straighten, the knee has the additional ability to rotate (turn) and translate (glide).
The knee joint is formed by the tibia (shin bone), the femur (thigh bone) and the patella (knee cap). Each bone end is covered with a layer of smooth shiny cartilage that cushions and protects while allowing near frictionless movement. Cartilage, which contains no nerve endings o blood supply, receives nutrients from the fluid contained within the joint.
Surrounding the knee structure is the synovial lining, which produces this moisturizing lubricant. If damaged, the cartilage is not capable of repairing itself. Tough fibres, called ligaments, link the bones of the knee joint and hold them in place; adding stability and elasticity for movement. Muscles and tendons also play an important role in keeping the knee joint stable and mobile.