What is knee replacement?
Knee replacement means you’ve opted to replace your joint with an artificial one. It’s only an option when all other treatments – pain meds, injections, etc – can no longer relieve your pain.
Why do joints fail? The pain results from lost or damaged cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee, says orthopaedic surgeon, Dr John V. Tiberi.
The surgery itself involves replacing some of the damaged bone and cartilage in the joint with a smooth gliding surface made of metal and plastic, says Nashville orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Jeffrey Hodrick.
Who is a candidate?
Typically, people get knee replacements because of arthritis: especially osteoarthritis, but also post-traumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory arthritis such as gout, explains chief of orthopaedic surgery, Dr Jeffrey I. Peretz.
Types of replacement
Knee replacements can be either partial or total. The knee is divided into three compartments, explains orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Barbara Bergin.
Patients can get opt for partial replacement when only one part of the knee’s cartilage is damaged (usually the medial), according to orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Bradford Waddell, who makes an evaluation based on listening to and examining the person and reviewing their imaging. That said, most replacements are total because arthritis tends to affect the entire knee, says orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Miho J. Tanaka.