Knee Replacement


How is a knee replacement done?

A knee damaged by arthritis or other disease may be replaced with an artificial one (prosthesis) made of stainless steel or titanium. The operation for a knee replacement involves cutting off the bottom of the femur (thigh bone) and top of the tibia (lower leg bone) and inserting the artificial hinge, which is held in place by special glues and metal spikes that go up the shaft of the femur and tibia. The patient is mobilised under the supervision of a physiotherapist as soon as possible after the surgery.

The operation is usually very successful, but possible complications may include infection, blood clots, nerve damage and loosening of the joint attachments to bone. Squatting is impossible after the operation, and patients are advised to not bend the knee much more than 90°.

Illustration showing total knee replacement: diseased joint, bones of joint are cut and shaped and implants are fitted into place

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