Knee is a hinge joint where the lower leg bone tibia meets the thigh bone femur. During osteoarthritis, cartilage or ligament defects and degenerative arthritis, knee replacement surgery is recommended worldwide to get relief from extreme pain. Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroscopy, is a surgical procedure, in which the affected knee joint is replaced with synthetic material. The most likely candidates for total knee replacement are the patients with severe destruction of the knee joint coupled with progressive pain and impaired function.
Modern technological advances have made computer assisted knee replacement surgery extremely popular around the globe. In this surgery, the surgeon is assisted by a computer to remove the optimum amount and angle of the bone, which otherwise is done by inspecting manually. This is an excellent example of surgery through a small incision and it eliminates the chances of human error. A perfect alignment and balance is achieved and hence longevity is also increased to 20 - 30 years. Knee replacement surgery is also specific to gender as the anatomy of male and female patients is different.
There are many types of knee replacements, most common being the Total Knee Replacement or Total Knee Arthroplasty. In addition, there is a partial knee replacement, bilateral knee replacement, revision knee replacement and knee arthroscopy.
In knee replacement surgery, the worn out surfaces of joints of knee are replaced with artificial implant of plastic and metal. The lower end of the femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The upper end of the lower leg bone (tibia) is also removed and replaced with a channeled plastic implant with a metal stem. A plastic ball is also added under the kneecap depending on its condition. These artificial components are commonly referred as prosthesis. The design of these highly flexible implants replicate knee, with the rotating knee replacement implants assist in backward and forward swing of the legs.