What is knee replacement surgery?
A knee replacement is surgery to remove a damaged knee joint and replace it with an artificial joint. The replacement will reduce your pain and increase your mobility.
Do I need a knee replacement?
If you are experiencing knee pain which isn’t responding to other treatment then a replacement may be offered.
Knee pain is often caused by wear and tear to the joint. However there are other conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, knee trauma, gout and bone dysplasia which may also cause chronic pain.
Most knee replacements are performed on patients between the ages of 60 – 80, due to degeneration of the joint through ageing. However, lifestyle also plays a part such as playing sports or frequently bending and putting pressure on the knee joints.
What are the different types of knee replacements?
There are two main types of knee replacement — full knee replacement and partial knee replacement.
A total hip replacement is where both sides of your knee joint are replaced with a prosthetic. Your surgeon will expose and move your kneecap to be able to access the knee joint sitting behind it.
They will then remove the damaged part of your thigh and shin bone, and replace it with a piece of metal and proceed to fit your artificial joint.
A partial knee replacement is when only one side of the knee joint is replaced. This surgery tends to be carried on people between 55 and 65, and the artificial joint has a life expectancy of roughly 10 years before needing to be replaced.
The benefits of a partial knee replacement include a shorter recovery period and less time spent in hospital.