Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement is one of the most successful surgical procedures. The first knee replacement was performed more than 35 years ago. Today, more than 400,000 procedures are being performed every year in the United States alone. It is a fairly routine procedure. Total knee replacement, also called Total Knee Arthroplasty, involves removing the diseased bone and cartilage and resurfacing it with orthopaedic implants.
The word “replacement” gives the impression that your surgeon is removing the entire knee. However, your surgeon will only resurface the damaged bone and cartilage of your joint. During surgery, the joint is exposed by an incision, made down the center or off to the side of the knee. The damaged bone ends are then resurfaced with components designed to re-create the natural contours of the bones in a healthy knee. The metal and polyethylene (plastic) implants allow the bones to smoothly glide against each other, like your natural cartilage.
Total knee replacement is performed while you are under anesthesia. There are various types of anesthesia available and your surgeon will explain the options before your surgery.
The length of surgery may vary from approximately one to two hours. Care before surgery and time spent in the recovery room can add an additional one or two hours to the procedure.