Total Knee Replacement is a surgical procedure which involves the replacement of the worn-out parts of the knee with an artificial joint. A total knee replacement implies that everything about the joint is being replaced.
However, what is actually being done is just a resurfacing of the bones of the joint. The prosthesis that is used is made up of plastic and metal and is placed on the joint surface.
Most of the ligaments and all of the tendons remain intact which allows the newly replaced bones to glide against each other and the knee to bend and move without pain.
It is important for you to understand that this is an elective surgical procedure (you have to choose it). While this surgery is not considered absolutely essential, most people who elect the surgery found the ability to move freely without knee pain improved their lifestyle. It is important to consider the alternatives.
Is your knee is damaged to the point that it is painful or that it can no longer move as intended? You should be aware that often there are remedies other than knee replacement. Whether those remedies will work for you depends upon many factors which your doctor will weigh and discuss with you.
Physical therapy, anti -inflammatory medications and pain killers, weight loss, restricting your activities or using a cane or crutches may all be considered.
Other surgical procedures you should consider:
There are also surgical procedures which are somewhat less invasive than total knee replacement. Your doctor will explain osteotomy, arthroscopic debridement, and synovectomy, alternatives which you may feel would be better for you. Once you and your doctor have a clear picture of your condition and you understand your treatment options, you can confidentally make your decision.
Having the facts, understanding the alternatives = your confident treatment decision, your peace of mind.