Total (full) knee replacement refers to the resurfacing of all three compartments of the knee; the inside, the outside, and the kneecap portions of the joint. However, rather than "replacing" the entire knee, knee replacement refers to resurfacing the articulating surfaces of the knee joint.
A metal cap goes on the end of the thigh bone, recreating the anatomy of the end of the femur. A plastic liner makes up the other side of the articulating surface, and is fixed to a metal tray which is secured to the top of the shin bone. In this way, the knee joint is now metal, on plastic, on metal. This replaces the bone on bone articulation which causes pain in knee arthritis.
More generalized knee pain and diffuse arthritis patterns are best treated with total knee replacement. This in in contrast to isolated knee arthritis to one compartment which may be appropriate for partial knee replacement. With total knee replacement, greater knee deformities and limb malalignments can be corrected with this procedure. Long-term studies have shown knee replacement to be one of the most reliable and durable orthopedic procedures available.
Less invasive total knee replacement surgery
92 y/o patient who went home day after surgery, and walking at two week visit after surgery.
Knee Committees and Presentations
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