Knee Replacement Implants and Surgery

If your knee is harshly damaged by an injury or arthritis, it may be tough for you to perform daily activities, such as climbing stairs or even having a simple walk. You may even commence to feel severe pain while you are lying down or even sitting. A knee replacement surgery would be recommended in such conditions wherein you have an inflexible or painful knee and all the non surgical treatments like walking supports and medications are no longer accommodating.

Who are the Candidates for Knee-Surgery?

There is no exact age or weight for knee replacement surgery. Commendations for surgery are based on the patient’s disability and pain. Majority of patients who are operated with total knee replacement surgery are of age between 55 to 85, however surgeons assess patients on individual case basis. Total knee replacements have been achieved successfully at all the ages, from a teenager to aged patients.

Success in Knee Replacements Surgeries with Use of Implants

Knee replacement surgeries have seen great success in the last couple of years. They are now much safer and efficient practice to release pain, operate leg deformity, and assists in resuming daily activities.

These surgeries have also seen improvements in used materials and surgical techniques which have made the treatments more effective. During knee replacement surgery, a surgeon will resurface your injured knee with artificial elements and components using different implants.

Using Different Types of Knee Implants are subject to Multiple Factors

There are diverse types of knee implants available for surgery. The types and designs used by doctors and hospitals are subjected to multiple factors which include: Necessities based on the patient’s knee anatomy, Types of problems the patient has, Health issues, Weight and Age, Surgeon’s acquaintance to the implant devices, Performance and charges of the implant.

The patient and the relatives must discuss with the surgeon about the types of implants that will be utilized for the knee replacement surgery.

Implant Elements, Components and Materials Used

Up till 3 bone surfaces can be substituted in a total knee replacement surgery:

  • Lower end of femur

The metal femoral element curves around the end of the thighbone. It is fluted so that the kneecap can move efficiently against the bone when the knee bends.

  • Upper surface of tibia

The tibia is a flat metal surface with a cushion of plastic known as polyethylene. Sometimes polyethylene is directly attached to the bone without metal surface.

  • Back surface of patella

The patella component is dome-shaped polyethylene that copies shape of the kneecap. Sometimes the patella need not require to be resurfaced.

Implants are created of ceramic material, metal alloys and plastic parts. Metal portions of implants are created through titanium and cobalt. The plastic portions are built of polyethylene. There are three types of tibial components which includes Fixed-Bearing Implants, Mobile-Bearing Implants and Fixed vs. Mobile-Bearing Implants. Present day implant designs identify the intricacy of the joint and closely imitate the motion of a regular knee.

Different Knee Implant Fixations

There are multiple types of knee implant fixations. Some are cemented, others are cementless along with some hybrid designs.Cemented prostheses use bone cement that assists in holding the components of the joint. Mostly knee replacements are cemented and they have resulted into success in the recent times. Cementless implant designs become static by the bone growth within the implant surface.Implants are coated with porous materials to make the new bone grow into the right surface.

Screws are used to keep the implant steady until the growth of bones happens. Recovery takes time as bone needs to grow into prosthesis. Cementless implants are not suitable for patients with osteoporosis, as the prevailing bone should be in a reasonable shape for growing into the implant.

Life After Knee Replacement Surgery

The normal hospital stay after knee joint replacement surgery is of four to five days. In major cases patients have good level of improvements. This improvement is noteworthy after a month or two. The pain caused by the hurt joint is comforted when the new gliding surface is built through surgery.

After knee joint replacement, patients are able to stand and move their joints. Initially one may walk with the assistance of parallel bars, and later with a walking device until the knee is capable enough to support the complete weight of the body. After five to six weeks, majority of patients are able to walk easily with slight support. With physical therapy and regained muscle strength, patients who have gone through the knee replacement surgery can relish most activities.

New Advancements in Knee Replacement Surgery and Implants

New medical advancements have enhanced knee replacement surgery and the quality of implants used. Its key distinguishing advantage is that it uses expertise techniques and devices to enable the surgeon to perform major surgery without applying a large incision. With smaller incision there is less tissue damage which makes the surgery simpler for the surgeon. This approach leads to minimum pain, reduced recovery time and improved motion due to fewer scar tissue creations.

It is highly recommended to consult a surgeon to know about the risks, complexities and benefits involved in the use of different knee implants before total knee replacement surgery to better understand them.

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