If medications, changing your activity level, and using walking supports are no longer helpful, a person may want to consider resurfacing the damaged and worn surfaces of the knee to relieve pain, correct leg deformity and help resume normal activities. Knee Replacement is a surgical procedure in which those parts of the knee joint affected and destroyed by arthritis are replaced with artificial metal or plastic parts called ‘prostheses'. Total Knee Replacement may be recommended if one suffer from severe arthritis in the knee to alleviate pain and to improve the ability to walk. If an individual's knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, it may be hard for them to perform simple activities such as walking or climbing stairs. They may even begin to feel pain while sitting or lying down. There are two different types of knee replacement procedures a doctor may recommend to relieve knee pain, partial knee replacement, also called uni-compartmental replacement, or total knee replacement. Learning the differences can help to you have a better discussion with one's doctor. Total Knee Replacement, or arthroplasty, is the relining of the joint (bone end surfaces) with artificial parts called prostheses. There are three components used in the artificial knee.
1. The femoral (thigh) component is made of metal and covers the end of the thigh bone.
2. The tibial (shin bone) component, made of metal and polyethylene (medical-grade plastic), covers the top end of the tibia. The metal forms the base of this component, while the polyethylene is attached to the top of the metal to serve as a cushion and smooth the gliding surface.
3. The third component, the patella (kneecap), may be all polyethylene or a combination of metal and polyethylene.The new components are stabilized by the ligaments and muscles, just as with a natural knee.Partial Knee Replacement is performed when X-ray and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) results tell the surgeon only one side of the knee is damaged. The surgeon may decide a partial knee replacement is the best solution. Partial knee replacement repairs the side of the knee joint that is damage instead of the entire joint surface as in a total knee replacement.Because only one side of the knee is being replaced, a small incision may be used, referred to as “minimally invasive” surgery.Partial knee replacement is not usually considered for active or heavy people because they can put too much stress on the implant. In addition, if two or more compartments of a knee are damaged, the surgeon will probably recommend total knee replacement.The way a knee replacement will perform depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors.