Total knee replacement is a surgical process in which the joint of the knee is replaced using an artificial material. If any part of the body experiences intolerable pain, it is difficult for a person to use it and the same is true for knees as well. If a person’s knee is damaged due to an injury or due to arthritis, then he/she may find it difficult to person daily tasks and activities such as climbing stairs, walking and general moving around.
The pain remains even while lying down or sitting. In such a situation, a doctor may first prescribe medications and physiotherapy but in extreme cases, one may have to undergo total knee replacement.
Total knee replacement is also termed as resurfacing of the knee mainly because in the process, only the surface of the bones is replaced. The process combines of 4 broad steps and they are given as follows:
- Preparing the bone- in this step, the cartilage surfaces present at the ends of femur and tibia are removed together with a small part of the underlying bone.
- Positioning of the metal implants-metal components are used in place of the removed cartilage and bone so that they can recreate the surface of the knee joint. These parts of metal are press-fit or cemented into the bone.
- Resurfacing the patella-patella is basically the kneecap and in this step, the under surface of the patella is cut and a plastic button is used for its resurfacing. This process or step may vary depending upon patient to patient.
- Inserting a spacer- in between the metal parts, a plastic spacer is placed so as to create a smooth gliding surface. This plastic spacer is of course of medical grade quality.
If you are wondering whether total knee replacement is a process for you, then it is best to consult a good doctor. Most patients who undergo this process are between the age 50-80 however the treatment does not depend upon the age but rather the severity of the problem. One is likely to stay in the hospital for 3 days and has to recover at home for pain management and movement for a few weeks.