Learn everything about your treatment
Learn everything about your treatment
1 to 2 hours
3 to 5 nights
General anaesthetic or local anaesthetic with sedation
Knee replacement overview
What is a knee replacement?
A knee replacement is a commonly performed surgical procedure. The medical name for it is a knee arthroplasty. Both men and women who suffer with severe knee pain often choose to have this surgery. Often, their suffering is due to arthritis of the knee joints. This can cause pain and stiffness and as a result, they may struggle with mobility. A knee replacement involves removing parts of your knee joint and inserting artificial replacements. These artificial knee parts are commonly made up of metal or plastic. This knee replacement overview aims to help you understand the reasons why you may need a knee replacement. Furthermore, it will also educate you on the types of knee replacement you can have.
The knee joint
It can be very useful for you to understand the details of what is currently wrong with your knee joint. Often, it helps explain why you may benefit from a knee replacement. Therefore, we would like to start by explaining a bit about the knee joint and how it works.
The lower end of your thigh bone (femur) and the upper end of your skin bone (tibia) connect to form your knee joint. In a fully functioning, healthy knee joint, a smooth cartilage covers the ends of each bone where they meet. This allows the bones to glide over each other, producing a smooth, easy, pain-free movement of the knee.
If your cartilage experiences injury or wears away with time, movements of the knee can become stiff and painful. Without the cartilage there to smooth their movement, the two bones of the knee joint now rub together. This can be very painful and can cause the joint to swell.
What can a knee replacement achieve?
During a knee replacement, your surgeon will remove the damaged bone and cartilage from your knee joint. They will then replace the them with new, artificial parts. A knee replacement often produces an improvement in a patient’s quality of life. After the surgery, you should experience less pain and notice an improvement in your mobility. As a result, you may also experience an improvement in your mental health. There are two main types of knee replacement available:
A total knee replacement
A total knee replacement is the most common type of knee replacement. Your surgeon will remove both the bottom of your thigh bone (femur) and the top of your shin bone (tibia) along with any cartilage that remains. In addition, they may have to replace the surface on the back of your kneecap. However, this is typically not necessary.
You are more likely to experience medical complications after a total knee replacement. Your incision will also be larger and your hospital stay and recovery time will be longer. However, you are also less likely to require further knee surgery after a total knee replacement. Your surgeon will help you to decide which approach is best for you.
A partial knee replacement
Another type of knee replacement is a partial knee replacement. This involves replacing only one side of your knee joint, either the inside (medial) or the outside (lateral). Therefore, if you have a partial knee replacement, your surgeon will only remove part of the bottom of your thigh bone (femur) and part of the top of your shin bone (tibia) on one side of your knee joint.
Your surgeon may choose to perform this method of knee replacement if your knee has damage only to one side of it. The advantages of this approach is that your surgeon will make a smaller incision therefore there will be less scarring. Furthermore, your hospital stay will be shorter and your recovery will be faster than a total knee replacement. On the other hand, you are more likely to require further knee surgery with this technique. Your surgeon will help you to decide which approach is best for you.
Who are BOA?
BOA stands for The British Orthopaedic Association. This is the leading society for Orthopaedic surgeons in the UK. Member surgeons are amongst the most highly-skilled and qualified surgeons in the UK. Choosing to get your hip replacement done by a BOA highly-experienced surgeon will reduce the risk of complications occurring.