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Knee Arthritis & Knee replacement surgery – a patient fact sheet

Author: Admin

Date: 12 September 2022

Knee arthritis

The knee joint connects the thigh bone to the shin bone as a hinge joint for flexibility.  At the knee joint, smooth articular cartilage (covers the end of the bones), and cartilaginous discs (menisci that cushion the knee) allow the knee bones for their smooth movements during standing, sitting, jumping, running, taking stairs, etc.  Knee arthritis is a degenerative condition that is characterized by wear and tear of cartilage at the end of bones, which causes friction between the bones when they rub against each other during movements.  Such friction between thigh and shin bones causes pain and swelling.  Since the cartilage cushion is degenerated, as the disease progresses the person suffering from knee arthritis experiences, stiffness, pain experiencing difficulty in moving joints.  This kind of knee arthritis due to the loss of cartilage between bones is known as wear and tear arthritis or osteoarthritis.

Knee replacement

Knee arthritis is caused and aggravated due to body weight burdening joints devoid of cartilage.  Hence losing excess weight supported by mild daily physical exercise that involves joints are recommended as non-invasive means to address knee arthritis.  However, when all the non-surgery treatments fail to address pain, then knee replacement surgery is recommended.  Most of the patients who undergo these TKR surgeries are between 50-80 years of age.

Types of Knee replacement

Knee replacement surgery is of two types – partial knee replacement surgery (PKR), or total knee replacement (TKR) surgery.  

  1. Partial knee replacement is suggested when whole knee is not damaged, weighs less than 80kg, and has a good range of motion with minimal deformity.  Partial replacement also known as a Uni-compartmental knee replacement is quicker and the patient is likely to return to normal activities faster.

  2. Total Knee replacement surgery is performed where there is severe loss of cartilage, which is of two kinds – 

    1. Primary Total Knee Replacement in patients with the severe form of arthritis.

    2. Revision Total Knee Replacement in previously operated patients

If you are suffering from persistent knee pain, Consult expert orthopedics at Park Hospital

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