Artificial Joint Replacement of the Knee Gorham ME
Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery of the Spine
Medical School: Univ Of Vt Coll Of Med, Burlington Vt 05405
Graduation Year: 1997
Medical School: Dartmouth Med, Hanover Nh 03755
Graduation Year: 1999
Foot & Ankle Surgery
Adult Reconstructive Orthopaedic Surgery
Artificial Joint Replacement of the Knee
A Patient's Guide to Artificial Joint Replacement of the Knee
A painful knee can severely affect your ability to lead a full, active life. Over the last 25 years, major advancements in artificial knee replacement have improved the outcome of the surgery greatly. Artificial knee replacement surgery (also called knee arthroplasty) is becoming increasingly common as the population of the world begins to age.
This guide will help you understand
What is the normal anatomy of the knee?
The knee joint is formed where the thighbone (femur) meets the shinbone (tibia). A smooth cushion of articular cartilage covers the end surfaces of both of these bones so that they slide against one another smoothly. The articular cartilage is kept slippery by joint fluid made by the joint lining (synovial membrane). The fluid is contained in a soft tissue enclosure around the knee joint called the joint capsule.
The patella, or kneecap, is the moveable bone on the front of the knee. It is wrapped inside a tendon that connects the large muscles on the front of the thigh, the quadriceps muscles, to the lower leg bone. The surface on the back of the patella is covered with articular cartilage. It glides within a groove on the front of the femur.
Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Knee Anatomy
What does the surgeon hope to achieve?
The main reason for replacing any arthritic joint with an artificial joint is to stop the bones from rubbing against each other. This rubbing causes pain. Replacing the painful and arthritic joint with an artificial joint gives the joint a new surface, which moves smoothly and without causing pain. The goal is to help people return to many of their activities with less pain and with greater freedom of movement.
How should I prepare for surgery?
The decision to proceed with surgery should be made jointly by you and your surgeon. The decision should only be made after you feel that you understand as much about the procedure as possible.
Once you decide to proceed with surgery, several things may need to be done. Your orthopedic surgeon may suggest a complete physical examination by your regular doctor. This is to ensure that you are in the best possible condition to undergo the operation. You may also need to spend time with the physical therapist who will be managing your rehabilitation after the surgery. The therapist will begin the teaching process before surgery to ensure that you are ready for rehabilitation afterwards.
One purpose of the preoperative visit is to record a baseline of information. This includes measurements of your current pain levels, functional abilities, the presence of swelling, and the available movement and strength of each knee.
A second purpose of the preopera...