If you and your orthopedic surgeon have decided that you are a good candidate for a full joint knee replacement, you are in good company. Almost one million hip and knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States annually, making it one of the most common orthopedic procedures performed today.
In a total knee replacement surgery, the arthritic surfaces of the knee joint are removed, and new surfaces are provided with metal and poly (plastic) parts. This relieves knee pain and allows the joint to move smoothly again.
Total knee replacement step-by-step guide:
- Total knee replacement removes the damaged and painful areas of the thigh bone (femur) and lower leg bone (tibia).
- The damaged portions of the femur and cartilage are cut away. The bone is reshaped to allow the metal component to fit into place.
- The metal component is attached to the end of the femur bone using bone cement.
- The damaged area of the tibia bone and cartilage are cut away. The bone is reshaped to allow the metal component to fit into place.
- The metal component is attached to the end of the tibia using bone cement. A polyethylene insert is attached to the metal component. The insert will support your body weight and help the femur glide over the tibia, just like your own cartilage used to do.
- The new femur and tibia are put back together to form a new joint.
- To make sure the kneecap (patella) glides over the surface of the joint, a polyethylene component is cemented to the back of the patella.
- The metal component is attached to the end of the tibia one using bone cement.