Total Knee Replacement

Introduction

A Total Knee Replacement (TKR) or Total Knee Arthroplasty is a surgery that replaces an arthritic knee joint with artificial metal or plastic replacement parts called the ‘prostheses’.

The procedure is usually recommended for older patients who suffer from pain and loss of function from arthritis and have failed results from other conservative methods of therapy.

The typical knee replacement replaces the ends of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) with plastic inserted between them and usually the patella (knee cap).

 

Arthritis

Other causes include

  • Trauma (fracture)
  • Increased stress e.g., overuse, overweight, etc.
  • Infection
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Inactive lifestyle e.g., Obesity, as additional weight puts extra force through your joints which can lead to arthritis over a period of time
  • Inflammation e.g., Rheumatoid arthritis

In an Arthritic Knee

  • The cartilage lining is thinner than normal or completely absent. The degree of cartilage damage and inflammation varies with the type and stage of arthritis
  • The capsule of the arthritic knee is swollen
  • The joint space is narrowed and irregular in outline; this can be seen in an X-ray image
  • Bone spurs or excessive bone can also build up around the edges of the joint

The combinations of these factors make the arthritic knee stiff and limit activities due to pain or fatigue.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of osteoarthritis is made on history, physical examination & X-rays.

There is no blood test to diagnose Osteoarthritis (wear & tear arthritis).