Total Knee Replacement
If you and your doctor determine that other methods are insufficient to relieve your knee pain, stiffness, deformity or dysfunction, it might be time to consider a total knee replacement.
The most common cause of ongoing knee pain is arthritis, typically caused by degeneration (osteoarthritis). With frequent, strenuous or long-term use, the cartilage cushioning the knee can wear away, leaving the bones to rub against one another, causing pain and immobility. Arthritis can also be caused by inflammatory disease (rheumatoid arthritis) or a serious blow, fracture or tear (post-traumatic arthritis).
With a total knee replacement, the damaged ends of the bones and cartilage are replaced with metal and plastic components that are designed to restore knee movement and function. Most often the prosthesis consists of a surgical steel, alloy and/or titanium piece that fits into and moves comfortably within a durable polyethylene structure. Medical-grade cement may be used to secure the non-moving elements of the prosthesis.
More than 90% of knee replacement patients report a significant reduction in pain and a marked improvement in their ability to perform normal daily undertakings, such as walking, driving, golfing, biking, swimming, dancing and other low-impact activities. Higher impact sports such as tennis, running and jumping are not recommended for patients who have had knee replacement surgery.
Partial Knee Replacement
For patients whose overuse arthritis (osteoarthritis) affects just one part of the knee, partial knee replacement (aka unicompartmental knee replacement) can be an alternative to a total knee replacement.
The knee’s three major components are the inside (medial) area, the outer (lateral) area, and the front (patellofemoral) area, which sits between the kneecap and the thighbone. When only one of these areas is damaged, it can be replaced with metal and plastic while leaving the healthy areas alone. Partial knee replacement patients report a high satisfaction rating, describing the outcome as feeling natural and producing a faster recovery with less pain than a total knee replacement. However, fewer patients qualify for a partial knee replacement due to the fact that most knees suffer damage to more than one area. You, your doctor and your FMI surgeon can work together to determine if a partial knee replacement is right for your condition.