Total Knee Replacement
A painful, stiff knee can keep you from doing the simple things in life, even walking without pain. Thanks to advances in surgical techniques and materials, a total knee replacement can offer a patient years of pain-free function and return to many of the activities of daily living. Patients can once again enjoy life more fully with a more independent, mobile lifestyle.
Knee pain and stiffness often result from osteoarthritis (the breakdown of cartilage in your joints) from injury or wear and tear. Other knee problems include rheumatoid arthritis (an inflammatory joint disease) or poor alignment of your leg bones.
You can walk easily and without pain only when the bones in your knee joint are smooth and cushioned by healthy cartilage. You also need strong muscles and ligaments for stability, because your knee is more than a simple hinge joint: Each time you bend your leg to walk or climb up stairs, the bones rotate, roll, and glide on each other.
Total knee replacement (or arthroplasty) means resurfacing the bones of the knee joint with a prosthesis (artificial knee joint). The knee is comprised of three articular surfaces, and when surgery is performed to replace all three with a combination of metallic and surgical-grade plastic components, movement is restored to its natural, stable and smooth functional range of motion. These weight-bearing surfaces include the femoral component which covers the thighbone, the tibial component which covers the top of the shinbone, and the patellar component which covers the underside of the kneecap.
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