Knee Replacement Surgery: Procedure, Types, and Complications

Tanuja Bisht

, Treatments

When a person has arthritis or knee injury, particularly the osteoarthritis, damage, inflammation, and pain can limit his/her ability to extend and flex his/her knees.


Over time, the deterioration or decline of the joint and surrounding tissue can make it difficult to perform the basic daily activities such as sitting and lying down. Total knee replacement surgery is a common solution for people who are facing knees deterioration.


Total knee replacement or knee replacement provides the moving pain relief for more than 80-90 percent of those who’ve undergone the surgery.


Most of these knee replacement procedures are done to replace damaged knees due to osteoarthritis. The damaged knees replacement procedure was introduced in the 1968 year.


The total knee replacement is considered one of the most effective as well as safest procedures in orthopedics.


During a knee replacement, a surgeon removes some cartilage and bone from the areas of the shinbone and thighbone, where they meet at the knee joint. The surgeon then replaces the knee area of the shinbone with a plastic implant and the knee bone area of the thighbone with a metal implant.


This gives both the bones of the knee joint smooth surfaces again so they can be easily flexed and bend more painlessly as well as freely. In many cases, the surgeon also replaces the undersurface of the kneecap with a plastic coating.


Knee replacement surgery





What is Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to repair a knee damaged by arthritis. The metal and plastic parts are used to cover the ends of the bones forming the knee joint with the patella. This surgery may be considered for someone with severe arthritis or severe knee injury.


Several types of arthritis can affect the knee joint. Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that primarily affects middle-aged and older adults, can cause the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in the knees.


Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation of the synovial membrane and produces excess synovial fluid, can cause pain and stiffness. Traumatic arthritis, arthritis due to injury, can cause knee cartilage damage.


The goal of knee replacement surgery is to rebreak the knee joint’s damaged parts as well as to relieve knee pain that can not be controlled by other treatments.




What are the Procedures for Knee Replacement Surgery?

Following are the steps of the surgery;

Bone preparation: It this procedure then damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the tibia and femur are removed with a small amount of underlying bone.


Placement of metallic implants: The removed cartilage and bone are replaced by metal components that mimic the surface of the joint. These metal parts can be cemented into the bone or uncemented.


Pave the Patella: The lower surface of the patella is cut and re-asphalted with a plastic knob. Some surgeons do not resuscitate the patella.


Insert a spacer: A medical plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to create a smooth sliding surface.




Why Have Knee Replacement Surgery?

There are three common reasons to follow the procedure:

Osteoarthritis: In this type of age-related arthritis is caused due to normal wear and tear of the knee joint. Osteoarthritis affects patients aged above 50 years, but younger people may have it.


Osteoarthritis is caused by breakdown, inflammation, and the gradual and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. When a person grows older the cartilage wears down and the bones rub together.


To compensate, these bones often grow thicker, but this results in more painful and friction.


Rheumatoid arthritis: This is also known as inflammatory arthritis, the membrane around the knee joint to become thick and inflamed. Chronic inflammation damages the cartilage that leads to stiffness and soreness.


Post-traumatic arthritis: This type of arthritis is a severe knee injury. When the bones around the knee break or ligaments tear, this will ultimately affect the knee cartilage.




What are the Types of Knee Replacement Surgery?

There are mainly two types of knee replacement surgery that is total or partial.

Total Knee Replacement (TKR):

In TKR, the surgery mainly involves the replacement of both sides of the knee joint, which is the most common procedure.


The surgery lasts between 2 to 3 hours. After the surgery, the individual will have less pain and better mobility, but due to the presence of scar tissue, the person may find it difficult to move and bend the knees.


Partial Knee Replacement (PKR):

PKR is the done only one side of the knee joint. In this procedure, less bone was removed, so the incision is smaller, but it does not last as the total replacement.


PKR is suitable for those people with only one part of the knee is damaged. Post-operative rehabilitation is more straightforward and has less blood loss and a lower risk of infection and blood clots.




What are the Associated Complications of Knee Replacement Surgery?

There are several complications that are associated with knee replacement surgery including;

  • Infection
  • Shaking chills
  • Drainage from the surgical site
  • Redness of knee
  • Tenderness of knee
  • Swelling of knee
  • Pain in the knee
  • Blood clots in the leg vein
  • Nerve damage
  • Implant problems causing joint surgery failure.
  • Continued pain.





Knee replacement surgery is very beneficial for people above age 50 because the surgery provides them the option of for living life without knee pain.


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