What happens in a knee replacement?

A knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves removing a damaged or diseased knee joint and replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic components.

  • The procedure is typically performed to relieve pain and improve mobility in patients with conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other types of knee joint damage.
  • The surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia and takes about 1-3 hours to complete.
  • During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in the knee, remove the damaged joint and cartilage, and then position the artificial joint.
  • The artificial joint is made up of a metal component that replaces the thigh bone (femur) and a plastic component that replaces the shin bone (tibia). A plastic button may also be placed to replace the back of the knee (patella).
  • After the surgery, patients will typically spend several days in the hospital recovering.
  • Physical therapy will begin soon after the surgery to help the patient regain strength and mobility in the knee.
  • The recovery time can vary depending on the individual and the type of surgery.
  • It can take several weeks to a few months for patients to regain full use of their knee, and some may require additional therapy sessions.

It's important to note that a knee replacement is a major surgery, and it is not suitable for everyone. The decision to undergo a knee replacement is based on the individual's overall health, the severity of their knee damage, and their response to other forms of treatment such as physical therapy, medications, and other non-surgical treatments.

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