Knee Replacement Surgery
normal knee motion,
helping to restore lost flexibility and alleviate pain.
If severe chronic knee pain restricts normal daily activities like walking, bending
or climbing stairs, you may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery. Surgery
is rarely a first choice, so your doctor will likely first suggest a variety
of non-surgical treatments: medication, physical therapy, adjustments to your
daily routine and use of walking canes or other help aids.
When pain, limping and joint dysfunction from osteoarthritis become so severe
that none of these treatments provides adequate relief, surgery may be the next
option. Before recommending knee
replacement, your surgeon may opt for a less invasive procedure, including arthroscopy,
of the upper tibia or femur, synovectomy,
These surgical procedures may delay the necessity for a knee
replacement or prevent a worsening of your arthritis, but if your quality of
life is severely compromised by continued knee pain, a knee replacement may
be your best option. Depending on the condition of your knee, your surgeon may
recommend a "partial" (unicompartmental) knee, or more commonly a "total" knee replacement, or even a minimally-invasive surgical (MIS) approach.
Partial Knee Replacement
Also called unicompartmental or unicondylar knee replacement, partial knee replacement
involves replacing one of the knee's 3 compartments with an artificial implant
made of metal or plastic. Two of the 3 compartments are located where the 2
major bones of the leg (the tibia and the femur) link, and the third is located
underneath the kneecap (called the patella).
Partial knee replacement is an option if pain is present in only one of the compartments, which is why it's
less common than total knee replacement - in most cases, osteoarthritis affects all 3 compartments.
To view an animation of a partial knee replacement
Thanks to new technological improvements and surgical techniques, partial knee
replacement surgery offers a minimally invasive option with a number of advantages.
If you do not need a complete Total Knee Replacement, your doctor has a "partial"
prosthesis to correct your problem now. This will allow you to buy time before
getting a Total Knee Arthroplasty, and Wright gives your doctor that choice.
It generally requires a smaller incision than a total knee replacement (2-4 inches long instead of 8-12 inches) and offers greater potential joint motion. Recovery and rehabilitation is generally shorter as well, with many patients about to walk unaided within 2-4 weeks. And less bone removal means more options for future procedures, if necessary.
Read more about Wright's total knee product, Advance
Medial Pivot and Partial Knee Replacement products here.
Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
Total knee replacement surgery has been performed for over 30 years to relieve
chronic, debilitating pain caused by degeneration of the cartilage in the knee,
angular deformities and serious knee injuries.
Despite its radical-sounding
name, the fact is that only small portions of bone are removed and replaced
with metal and plastic implants. The new surfaces are able to slide smoothly
against each other, alleviating the bone on bone rubbing that causes knee pain
To view an animation of a total knee replacement
While your doctor will likely first try to control your condition with more
conservative methods like pain medication, weight management and physical
therapy, total knee replacement may ultimately be recommended if these are
It's important for you to understand that a total knee replacement won't make
you more athletic or active than you were before you developed arthritis. In
fact, whether you have total or partial knee replacement surgery, you'll be
advised to permanently avoid certain activities like jogging and high impact
sports. But while your new artificial joint won't give you a completely "normal"
knee, it can significantly improve the quality of your life with up to 120 degrees
of movement and a significant reduction of knee pain.
Minimally-Invasive Surgery (MIS)
Click here to read more.
Next: Benefits and Risks