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What is total knee replacement?

Arthroplasty, also known as total knee replacement, is a surgical procedure in which the knee is replaced with an artificial joint. It is a major surgery that requires hospitalization. It is generally recommended for patients who suffer from severe arthritis or a serious knee injury.

Total knee replacement (TKR) is a safe orthopedic surgery during which the damaged knee joint is replaced with an artificial implant.

TKR may be recommended for patients whose entire knee joint is severely affected by arthritis or injury, patients who experience permanent pain, patients who have difficulties moving their knee, and patients for whom non-surgical options are not efficient.

TKR relieves knee joint pain, restores knee functions, corrects leg deformity, and can help a patient resume normal activities.

The majority of artificial knee joint prostheses contain metal, ceramic, and plastic components. In a TKR procedure, implants are placed in the following places in the knee joint: the lower end of the femur (thigh bone), the upper end of the tibia (the bone of the lower leg, also called the shin bone), and in the backside of the patella (kneecap).

How is total knee replacement performed?

TKR surgery begins with anesthesia. After it takes effect, the surgeon will make an incision on the front side of the knee and remove the kneecap. He will then eliminate the damaged part of the bone, as well as the cartilage on the femur and tibia, and shape the bones to fit the femoral and tibial components. The femoral component is then fixed with cement. A metal tray with a stem which goes into the bone is then placed on the flat top of the tibia, after which a plastic component is inserted into the tibial tray. This is the region where the femoral part of the implant slides when you bend your knee. The affected part of the kneecap is also replaced with a plastic component, which is attached with cement and subsequently connected to the other parts of the prosthesis. Prior to stitching the incision, the surgeon will fix the adjacent muscles and tendons.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/