Are more common than hip replacements
- The long term survival are as good as hip replacements
- Are an excellent option for severe arthritis pains of the knee
- Allow for correction of bony deformity of the knee
- Return the joy of walking
The Normal Knee
The knee is a hinge joint where the large bone in your lower leg (or tibia) connects with the end of the thigh bone or femur. A healthy knee has smooth cartilage that covers both the end of the tibia and the end of the femur. The smooth cartilage allows the two bones to glide together when you bend your knee. Your knee joint is surrounded by muscles and ligaments to support your weight and allow your joint to work smoothly.
The Diseased Knee
Severe pain and decreased movement can result as the cushion of cartilage wears away in a knee joint affected by osteoarthritis or other diseases. The joint bones rub against each other, becoming rough, pitted and irritated.
Types of Knee Replacements
There are many different types of knee replacements. They can be broadly classified as partial knee replacements, total knee replacements and consrtained or hinged knee replacements.
Partial Knee Replacements
Partial knee replacements, as the name suggests, replaces part of the knee which is worn leaving the unaffected joint to continue as normal. The most common is a unicompartmentals knee replacement. This usually is where the inner worn part of the knee is replaced by a small replacement. This allows for early mobilisation and rapid rehabilitation.
Total knee replacements
Total knee replacements are more akin to a knee resurfacing as the worn bone is capped with a metal covering. There is usually a high density polyetheline liner. In total knee replacement the lower end of the thigh bone is recovered with metal and the top of the shin bone is replaced with a metal tray. There are two different types of total knee replacement. The patella or knee cap is only replaced if it is worn.
Revision knee replacements
Linked knee replacements are used in the role of revision surgery.