Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
Knee replacement is a procedure in which the surgeon removes damaged or diseased parts of the patient's knee joint and replaces them with new artificial parts. The operation itself is called knee arthroplasty. Arthroplasty comes from two Greek...
words, arthros or joint and plassein, "to form or shape." The artificial joint itself is called a prosthesis. Most knee prostheses have four components or parts, and are made of a combination of metal and plastic, or metal and ceramic in some newer models.
The knee is a common site of pain in athletes because of the tremendous forces that it must endure. There are various parts to a knee such the tendon, bursa, and meniscus. Injury to these knee joint structures can cause pain.
Knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is a common surgical procedure most often performed to relieve the pain and disability from degenerative arthritis, most commonly osteoarthritis, but other arthritides as well. Major causes of debilitating pain include meniscus tears, osteoarthritis, cartilage defects, and ligament tears.
Knee replacement surgery can be performed as a partial or a total knee replacement. In general, the surgery consists of replacing the diseased or damaged joint surfaces of the knee with metal and plastic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee.
New procedures like minimally invasive procedures are often subject to scrutiny, but I think that one of the biggest problems facing these innovative procedures is for people to understand exactly what we do.
-Dr. Michael Perry, Laser Spine institute
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