Knee replacement surgery is the most common joint replacement procedure. A person may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery if their knee has become stiff and painful or if the knee has developed an angular deformity. These include knock knee deformity (genu valgus) and bowlegged deformity (genu varus). An individual may also benefit from knee replacement surgery if their knee is preventing them from engaging in activities that are important to them and other non operative or operative treatments are not working.
When a knee replacement is performed, the bone and cartilage on the end of the thigh bone (femur) and top of the shin bone (tibia) are removed. This is performed using precise instruments to create surfaces that will accommodate the implant perfectly. Computer navigation and robotic technology have wonderfully improved our precision and made the results even more predicable.
A metal implant that is shaped like our natural femur is placed on the femur. A metal tray and plastic insert are implanted on top of the tibia. The underneath surface of the patella or kneecap is also removed and replaced with a plastic button. Now as the new knee moves, only specialized plastic moves against the new metal femoral component and pain is relieved.