The knee is one of the most important joints in the body because it allows you to stand, sit, walk, and run. Unfortunately, this constant use can lead to serious pain and immobility issues that wreak havoc on a person's life. Whether you are experiencing arthritis of the knee that has worn the joint down or you have injured the knee in an accident or while playing sports, a knee replacement may be the right option for you.
An estimated 700,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed each year in the United States. While common, most people are surprised to learn there are different types of knee replacements. With this guide, you will learn the four different knee replacement procedures to help you determine which is right for you.
If a few parts of the knee are affected arthritis or the injury, replacing the kneecap may only be necessary. However, this procedure is only suitable if the damage has not spread to all areas of the knee joint.
During a kneecap replacement or patellofemoral arthroplasty, the underlying surface of the kneecap and the groove is replaced with a metal prosthetic piece.
One of the main benefits of a kneecap replacement is the shorter recovery time.
If you are experiencing major bone loss due to your arthritis or injury, a deformity of the knee joint, or extreme weakness of the knee ligaments, you may require a complex knee replacement.
During this surgery, longer components are placed securely in the bone cavity. This helps interlock the knee's center to create a hinge that creates a stable joint function.
Before you can understand the difference between a partial and full knee replacement, you need to understand the anatomy of the knee joint.
Your knee contains these three main components:
In most cases of people with arthritis in the knee, the inner component is affected. Replacing the one component that is affected by the arthritis is possible. This surgery is known as a partial knee replacement.
Unfortunately, partial replacements are only suitable for patients with strong and healthy ligaments and muscles connecting the knee's components. Most patients who have a partial knee replacement will require a total replacement after a few years.
During a total knee replacement, your surgeon will replace the joint surface of your femur and tibia as well as the kneecap with a metal or plastic prosthetic. The pieces are cemented in place, ensuring a strong bond that enables you to move your knee joint in a smooth, pain-free manner.
A total knee replacement is a more invasive surgery compared to the other options, but it is effective for patients living with pain and immobility due to arthritis or an injury.
Consulting your doctor is best for determining which procedure is right for your needs. Contact a medical office like El Camino Center for Sports Medicine for more information and assistance.