Understanding Knee Replacement Surgery
Helpful guidance & support before your procedure in Los Angeles
A healthy knee bends easily and rotates slightly. The joint absorbs stress and moves smoothly, allowing you to walk, squat and turn without pain.
The knee is a hinge joint, formed where the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) meet. The joint is covered with smooth tissue called cartilage, which absorbs stress, allowing the knee to bend easily. Muscles help power the knee and leg for movement, while tendons attach the muscles to bones and ligaments connect bones, bracing the joint.
What is knee replacement?
Knee replacement surgery involves resurfacing the worn ends of both bones in a damaged joint and replacing them with artificial components, creating a new smooth cushion and a functioning joint. There are two types of knee replacement: total and partial knee replacement.
Up to three bone surfaces may be replaced with a total knee replacement:
- Lower ends of the thighbone (femur)
- Top surface of the shin bone (tibia)
- Back surface of the knee cap (patella)
The removed cartilage and bone from the femur and tibia are replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint. These metal parts may be cemented or “press- T” into the bone. The tibial component is typically a flat metal platform with a cushion of strong, durable plastic called polyethylene. The patellar component is a dome-shaped piece of polyethylene that duplicates the shape of the kneecap. If joint damage is limited to just one or two compartments of the knee, a partial knee replacement may be performed.
Your surgeon will determine the right course of treatment for you.