What is Knee Replacement Surgery?

Patient Consulting his Knee to a Doctor

Knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty is a solution for addressing pain and dysfunction in the joint. A total replacement involves the installation of a new, artificial joint that will allow the person to walk and function without difficulty. For many people, the best treatment to resolve their joint problems is knee replacement. Provo, Utah has many surgeons who can do this surgery.

Resurfacing the Knee

The knee is the largest joint in the human body. It carries a huge amount of weight— from the head to the pelvis and all the organs contained within the chest and stomach. The joint is also one of the largest moving parts of the musculoskeletal system. Without the flexion and extension of the joint, which is possible through movement of powerful lower limb muscles, people will not be able to walk.
The more accurate term for arthroplasty is resurfacing of the knee joint. Worn parts of the joint coupled with degeneration of the protective cartilage and joint capsule cause severe pain and disability.

What Happens During Resurfacing?

During knee replacement surgery, an orthopedic surgeon in Provo removes the damaged surfaces of the thigh-bone and shin-bone. These are the articulating components. A metal component is attached to each bone, which makes up the artificial joint surface. A plastic bearing allows movement.

What Illness Damages the Surface of Bone?

You may be wondering what damages the bone too severely to require replacement of the surface with artificial parts. Well, you may have heard of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both conditions lead to erosion of the bone surface and wearing away of the cartilage in between, which serves as the cushion. When the bones are already rubbing against each other, they will be damaged. The inflammatory reactions within the joint also affect the capsule and fluid—the shock absorbing components of the knee joint.

When there is no way for the joint to function properly due to the condition of the moving components, it makes sense to replace the surface. Modern medicine has the means to do this, and allow a person who cannot walk to do so for 20 years, at the least.