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What is a Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint in order to relieve pain and disability. The knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, plastics and polymers.
What are the types of Knee replacement?
How long would the artificial knee last?
- Total Knee Replacement (TKR):
In a total knee replacement (total knee arthroplasty), the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the surface of your knee joint and replaces them with a man-made surface of metal and plastic.
- Partial Knee Replacement (UKA):
In a partial knee replacement (unicompartmental knee arthroplasty), the surgeon only replaces one part of your knee joint.
Advantages of partial knee replacement include smaller incision, shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, easier post-op rehabilitation, lower risk of infection, blood clots and stiffness, and easier revision if necessary.
- Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement Surgery:
Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) uses specialized techniques and instrumentation to enable the surgeon to perform major surgery without a large incision.
Minimally invasive knee replacement requires a smaller incision, three to five inches, versus the standard approach which typically requires an eight to twelve inches incision.
Minimally invasive surgery may lead to less pain, decreased recovery time and better motion due to less scar tissue formation.
- Revision Knee Replacement Surgery:
Revision knee replacement surgery is done to replace the replacement knee, once it has been worn out.
The revision is usually more complicated and a longer procedure than the original surgery.
There is no set limit to the number of times you can have revision surgery, but it is widely accepted that the artificial knee joint becomes less effective each time it is replaced.
The artificial knee usually lasts between 15-20 years, depending on the type of joint used and how much you strain your new knee.
Duration of procedure/surgery:
A knee replacement operation usually takes 1.5 to 3 hours.
Usually 3 - 5 days at the hospital.
Serious complications are rare - fewer than 2% of people undergoing knee replacement surgery experience serious complications.
- Knee stiffness
- Blood clots in the leg vein (thrombophlebitis)
- Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)
- Nerve damage
- Heart attack
Learn more about Knee Replacement