Knee replacement surgery, which is also known as arthroplasty, is a procedure in which damaged or diseased parts of the knee joint are removed and replaced with prosthetic implants made of metal and steel.
Patients who are good candidates for this operation usually have severe osteoarthritis and experience knee pain that does not respond to medications. This pain often wakes them up at night and does not reduce sufficiently with rest during the day. Patients with less severe osteoarthritis who cannot tolerate the side effects of their medications are others who can be considered for knee replacement surgery.
Persons with functional impairment in which the activities of daily living are affected are other good candidates for this operation. These limitations can include impaired walking and especially the climbing of stairs that necessitates the use of a walking aid.
Patients with knee swelling that does not respond to treatment and that limits bending or straightening the knee are others who can benefit from this operation. Those with very stiff knees that make it difficult for them to get in and out of a car or bath tub can also benefit from knee arthroplasty.
Patients who develop secondary osteoarthritis after knee infections, poorly treated fractures and tears of the menisci and cruciate ligaments are other good candidates for knee replacement surgery.
Severe rheumatoid arthritis and gouty arthritis are other types of arthritis that affect the knee to such an extent that the person’s occupation and social life are interfered with and thus necessitate knee arthroplasty.
Patients who have damaged knee bones due to bone cancer, unusual bone growth from bone dysplasias or death of some parts of the bone due to blood supply problems are others who can benefit from this operation.
Persons with deformities with significant bowing in or out of the knee are others who may require knee replacement surgery.
Written by: Marian Kim, FizzNiche Staff Writer