Information About Knee Replacement Surgery for Patients and Their
| Partial Knee
| Total Knee Replacement
| What to Expect on Surgery Day
Post Operative Care
| Knee Rehabilitation
Life After Knee Replacement
Total Knee Replacement Surgery
If you are considering knee surgery the following total knee replacement
information might help you understand the procedure and implants better.
Your knees work hard during your daily routine, and arthritis of the knee or a
knee injury can make it hard for you to perform normal tasks. If your injury or
arthritis is severe, you may begin experience pain when you’re sitting down or
trying to sleep.
Sometimes a total knee replacement is the only option for reducing pain and
restoring a normal activity level. If your and your doctor decide a total knee
replacement is right for you, the following information will give you an
understanding about what to expect.
A total knee replacement involves cutting away the damaged bone of the knee
joint and replacing it with a prosthesis. This “new joint” prevents the bones
from rubbing together and provides a smooth knee joint.
Click the image below to view a movie of how the total knee implant
components work together...
(585k - Requires:
Player, Download Here
In the total knee replacement procedure, each prosthesis is made up of four
parts. The tibial component has two elements and replaces the top of the shin
bone or tibia. This prosthesis is made up of a metal tray attached directly to
the bone and a plastic spacer that provides the bearing surface.
The femoral component replaces the bottom of the thigh bone or femur. This
component also replaces the groove where the patella, or kneecap, sits.
The patellar component replaces the surface of the knee cap, which rubs against
the femur. The patella protects the joint, and the resurfaced patellar button
will slide smoothly on the front of the joint.
Before you are taken to the operating room you’ll be given medication to
help you relax, and the anesthesiologist will talk with you about the
medications he’ll be using. In the operating room, you will be placed
under full anesthesia.
Once you are “under” the surgeon will begin by making an incision in your leg
to allow access to the knee joint. He’ll then expose the joint and place a
cutting jig or template on the end of the femur, or thigh bone. This jig allows
the surgeon to cut the bone precisely so that the prosthesis fits exactly. Once
the femur is cut, the tibia is cut using another jig for proper alignment of
the knee prosthesis. The undersurface of the patella is then removed.
Now it’s time to place the prosthesis. This begins with the femoral prosthesis,
which is cemented in place using a special bone cement. Next the metal tray is
attached to the top of the tibia. This will provide the weight-bearing surface
of the femur. The plastic spacer is then attached to the metal tray. This will
provide the weight-bearing surface of the femur. If this component should wear
out while the rest of the artificial knee is sound, it can be replaced. This is
known as a “revision.” Next the patellar button is cemented in place behind the
knee cap. Finally, the incision is closed, a drain is put in, and the
post-operative bandaging is applied.
Click the image below to view an animation of the total knee replacement
(585k - Requires:
Windows Media Player,
You will be discharged when you can get out of bed on your own and walk with a
walker or crutches, walk up and down three steps, bend your knee 90 degrees and
straighten your knee.
At home you should begin ambulation with a cane as tolerated. Keep your
incision clean and dry and watch closely for any signs of infection.
You’ll continue your home exercise program and go to outpatient physical
therapy, where you will work on an advanced strengthening program and such
programs as stationary cycling, walking, and aquatic therapy.
Your long-term rehabilitation goals are a range of motion from 100-120 degrees
of knee flexion, mild or no pain with walking or other functional activities,
and independence in all activities of daily living.