When a knee is so severely damaged by disease or injury, an artificial knee replacement may be considered. Approximately 500,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed annually in the US. The most common age for knee replacement is between ages 60 to 80 years old.
The most common condition that results in the need for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, a degenerative, joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and older adults. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in the knees.
Although each procedure varies, generally, surgery to replace a knee usually lasts about two hours. After the damaged bone and cartilage of the knee is removed, the orthopedic surgeon will place the new artificial knee in its place.
The two most common types of knee prostheses used in replacement surgeries are cemented prosthesis and uncemented prosthesis. Sometime, a combination of the two types is used to replace a knee. A knee prosthesis is made up of metal and plastic. A cemented prosthesis is attached to the bone with a type of epoxy. An uncemented prosthesis attaches to the bone with a fine mesh of holes on the surface, in order for the bone to grow into the mesh and attach naturally to the prosthesis.
Diagnostic procedures may include the following:
A knee prosthesis is made up of metal and plastic.
The prosthesis (artificial knee) is comprised of the following three components:
- tibial component (to replace the top of the tibia, or shin bone)
- femoral component (to replace the two femoral [thighbone] condyles and the patella groove)
- patellar component (to replace the bottom surface of the kneecap that rubs against the thighbone)
Physical Therapy is a critical part of complete recovery. Our doctors recommend DMC's Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, with 30 convenient locations across southeastern Michigan. To find one near you, click here.