Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

Definition

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.


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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.

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In a total knee replacement, an incision is made to expose the knee joint (A). The surfaces of the femur are cut with a saw to receive the prosthesis (B). The tibia is cut to create a plateau (C). The prostheses for the femur, tibia, and patella are put in place (D). The incision is closed (E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) In a total knee replacement, an incision is made to expose the knee joint (A). The surfaces of the femur are cut with a saw to receive the prosthesis (B). The tibia is cut to create a plateau (C). The prostheses for the femur, tibia, and patella are put in place (D). The incision is closed (E). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)




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Other Information

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.


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knee_replacement

Other Information

Orthopedic complaints are the most common reason to seek medical care.


From: About.com

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