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Whether you have just begun exploring your treatment options for knee pain or have already decided upon knee replacement surgery, the following information from Colorado Joint Replacement in Denver can help you better understand what you can expect from a knee replacement.
Below you will find information on:
- How a healthy knee joint works
- The causes knee pain
- The anatomy of an unhealthy joint
- Partial knee replacement
- Total knee replacement
Is knee replacement right for you?
If your knee has been damaged by arthritis, an accident or other condition, simple everyday activities may become painful. Even walking or getting out of a chair can become difficult. A number of people are able to return to their everyday activities - pain free - after undergoing knee replacement surgery. Knee replacement surgery is surgery to replace all or part of the knee joint with an artificial device (a prosthesis) to restore joint movement.
Knee replacement surgery can be performed as a total replacement or a partial replacement. The physicians at Colorado Joint Replacement specialize in both total knee replacement and partial knee replacement and would be happy to discuss in detail which procedure is best for you. They're experts you can trust, performing more than 1,500 joint replacements a year.
The knee is a complex joint. It contains the distal end of the femur (the femoral condyles) and the proximal end of the tibia (the tibial plateau). The femoral condyles usually glide smoothly on the tibial plateau. This allows the lower leg to move smoothly and painlessly.
The most common cause of knee damage that leads to knee replacement is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the bones of the knee. It causes the surfaces of the knee joint to become irregular and rough, preventing smooth painless motion of the knee joint.
Knee joint replacement may be recommended for:
- Knee osteoarthritis, or arthritis, which causes knee pain that has failed to respond to conservative therapy (NSAID medication for 6 months or more)
- Decreased knee function caused by arthritis
- Inability to work because of knee pain
- Inability to sleep through the night because of knee pain
- Inability to walk more than 3 blocks because of knee pain
- Loose knee prosthesis
- Some knee fractures
There are two types of knee replacement surgeries, which include:
Some medical problems may lead your doctor to recommend that you not have the surgery. Some of these problems are:
- Knee infection
- Morbid obesity (weighing over 300 pounds)
- Poor blood flow in the leg
- Unhealthy skin around your knee
- Very weak quadriceps, the muscles in the front of your thigh. Weak quadriceps could make it very hard for you to walk and use your knee
If you schedule an appointment at Colorado Joint Replacement, you will receive an extensive pre-operative evaluation of your knee(s) to determine if you are a candidate for a knee replacement procedure. Evaluation will include assessment of the degree of disability and impact on your lifestyle, pre-existing medical conditions, and an evaluation of heart and lung function.