Knee Anatomy and Reasons for Knee Replacement

Knee replacement is a surgical procedure to resurface a knee that is damaged by arthritis. In this procedure, metal and plastic parts are used to cap the ends of the bones that form the knee joint. This surgery is considered for those patients with severe arthritis. There are a number of types of arthritis that may affect the knee joints. Osteoarthritis – a degenerative joint disease that affects mostly middle aged and older adults is one of the other reasons that cause breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bones of the knees. Another cause of knee damage is the inflammation of the synovial membrane and leads to pain and stiffness.

Well, the main goal of a knee replacement surgery is to resurface the parts of the knee joint that have been damaged. Usually when all the other methods fail, a knee replacement is considered.

Let’s first understand the anatomy of the knee

A joint is a place where two bones meet. The knee is formed by two long leg bones that are held together by muscles, ligaments and tendons. Further, each of these bones is covered with a layer of cartilage that absorbs shocks and protects the knee. The tendons are tough cords of connective tissue that connect the muscles to the bones. Ligaments are essentially the elastic bands of tissues that connect the bone to another bone. Some of these ligaments provide the knee with stability and protection of the joints. Some others limit the motion of the structure – like the forward and backward movement.

Essentially, the knee consists of the tibia which is the larger bone of the lower leg, the femur, which is the thigh bone and the patella – which is the knee cap. Other than these, it consists of the cartilage, ligaments, synovial membrane, tendon and the meniscus (acts as a shock absorber).

Reasons for a knee replacement

Knee replacement is considered only if other forms of treatment are ineffective. Some of the most common forms of treatments include anti-inflammatory medications, glucosamine, pain medications, limiting painful activities, physical therapy, cortisone injections in the knee joints and other injections that essentially add lubrication to the knee joint to make the movements less painful. Another important factor considered is the weight of the individual. Weight loss is one of the most recommended treatments.

During knee replacement, the doctor removes the damaged surfaces of the knee joint and resurfaces the knee joint with the prosthesis. This prosthesis is made up of metal and plastic. One of the most common types of artificial knee is a cemented prosthesis. The un-cemented ones are outdated and no longer used. A knee replacement surgery usually requires hospital stay and your doctor will suggest that you see a physical therapist so as to get the new knee back into action. A complete exercise routine is then finalized and you must religiously follow it. Once at home, the doctor will also provide you with a post operative care routine that needs to be followed. A replaced knee usually lasts for around 20 years.



Source by Sejal Kakadiya

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