Knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability. The four main types of knee replacement surgery are:
Total knee replacement
Unicompartmental (partial) knee replacement
Kneecap replacement (patellofemoral arthroplasty)
Complex or revision knee replacement
The type of metal used in the knee replacement
The metals used in artificial knees are alloys of cobalt-chromium and titanium. The bearing portion of the joint is made of a high-grade, wear-resistant plastic. The metal-plastic bearing combination is the most common type used in knee replacement implants worldwide.
When knee replacement procedures were first performed in the early 1970s, it was thought that the average total knee implant would last approximately 10 years. We now know that approximately 85 percent of the knee implants will last 20 years.
Recovery time - It can take up to 3 months for you to return to most activities and likely 6 months to one year to fully recover to maximal strength and endurance following a Total knee Replacement (TKR). This depends on your condition before surgery, additional medical problems, and your expectations.
Knee replacement surgery is usually necessary when the knee joint is worn out or damaged to the extent that your mobility is reduced and you experience pain even while resting.
The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis.
Other conditions that cause knee damage include:
Disorders that cause unusual bone growth (bone dysplasias)
Death of bone in the knee joint following blood supply problems (avascular necrosis)
Knee deformity with pain and loss of cartilage
A knee replacement is major surgery, so it is normally recommended only if other treatments, such as physiotherapy or steroid injections, haven't helped reduce pain or improve mobility.
You may be offered knee replacement surgery if:
You have severe pain, swelling and stiffness in your knee joint and your mobility is reduced
Your knee pain is so severe that it interferes with your quality of life and sleep
Everyday tasks, such as shopping or getting out of the bath, are difficult or impossible
You're feeling depressed because of the pain and lack of mobility
You can't work or have a normal social life