Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is usually recommended to patients whose quality of life is severely affected due to knee pain. Usually these are patients who have not experienced adequate or long-term relief from with non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, weight management, medication etc. Each patient is unique but generally those who experience one or more of following symptoms are candidates for knee replacement:
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- Pain severe enough to restrict not only work and recreation, but also routine activities of daily living such as walking, bending, climbing stairs.
- Pain that is not relieved by conservative or non-surgical methods of treatment such as medication, physical therapy etc.
- Significant joint stiffness and difficulty in walking, climbing stairs, prolonged standing etc.
- X-Rays sow advanced arthritis or other degenerative problems
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease, which means that disease and pain is likely to worsen over time. Waiting for long or delaying surgery can lead to irreversible damage to the joint. Undergoing surgery at the right time can result in improved function and reduced pain compared to those who delay the procedure. Total Knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which a diseased or damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint called prosthesis. Made of metal alloys and high grade plastics (to mimic the function of bone and cartilage, respectively), the prosthesis is designed to move just like a healthy human joint. Over the years, knee replacement techniques, implants and instrumentation have undergone immense improvement and the surgery is helping millions of patients worldwide to alleviate pain, restore mobility and lead a good quality life. Surgical Procedure for Total Knee Replacement Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure which involves removing the damaged protion at the end of femur (thigh bone) and the top of the tibia (shin bone). Both tibia and femur is then reshaped using special instruments. The artificial knee implant is composed of metal and polyethylene – a durable and high grade plastic is placed at the resurfaced potion of knee to replicate the knee joint.
Step 1: Making an Incision
To begin the surgery, an incision is made on the front of the diseased knee, cutting through the tissue surrounding the muscles and bone. The kneecap, or patella, is rotated to the outside of the knee, to clearly view the damaged area which needs to be removed and replaced with artificial implant
Step 2: Prepare the Femur
Using special cutting instruments precise cuts of the diseased bone made. The end of the femur (thigh bone) is cut into a shape that matches the corresponding surface of the metal femoral component.
Step 3: Implant the Femoral Component
The femoral component is then placed on the end of the femur.
Step 4: Prepare the Tibia
The tibia (shin bone) is prepared with a flat cut on the top. The exposed end of the bone is sized to fit the metal and plastic tibial components.
Step 5: Implant the Tibial Component
The metal tibial component is inserted into the bone. Then a plastic insert is snapped into the tibial component. The femoral component will slide on this plastic as you bend your knee.
A special cement may be used to fix the implants onto your bone.
Step 6: Final Implants
Several tests will be conducted during the surgery to ensure the correct sized components are used to help patinet regain good balance and motion in the knee. The femoral and tibial components glide together to replicate the knee joint. Wound is then closed in layers with stitches and/or staples.