During knee replacement surgery, a surgeon will:
- Remove the damaged knee joint
- Resurface the bone ends with metal and plastic.
- Cap the ends of the connecting thigh and leg bones with a metal and plastic replacement knee
Our knees take a beating in the course of our lives and it’s hard to understate how much we rely on them for everyday tasks. Knee replacement surgery, also known as total knee or knee arthroplasty, can be a lifesaver for patients whose joints have been damaged by arthritis, overuse, or injury. Arthritis is a common condition among aging patients and attacks the cartilage and bones in our knee joints. The weakened joint is extremely uncomfortable and can cause severe pain, stiffness, and mobility problems.
Michelle had the typical experience of most knee replacement patients. Before undergoing surgery, her pain steadily worsened and she found that the loss of mobility limited her ability to function. She says her bad knee even “affected [her] ability to get up from a chair.” Michelle also says her bad knee started affecting the rest of her body: “When I walked, I was walking with my knee sort of bent all the time, which then made the sides of my leg hurt, my calf, my ankle…”
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to remove and replace the damaged knee joint to alleviate pain and restore function to the entire body.
First developed in the early 1970s, knee surgery has evolved over the past 50 years, becoming less invasive over time. Less invasive surgeries mean shorter recovery times and a faster return to normal activities for patients. Lateral approach total knee replacement surgery is the latest development in knee replacement procedures and offers a potential alternative to traditional total knee replacement surgery.