A knee replacement (arthroplasty) is a procedure that involves the removal and replacement of a damaged or worn knee joint with an endoprosthesis. The implant replaces the injured component and performs its function, enabling the joint to move without pain or discomfort.
Damaged bones and cartilage are removed under general or regional anesthesia during the operation. The prognosis of a favorable outcome is at least 98%. After carrying out the correct rehabilitation measures, the functions of the musculoskeletal system return to normal, pain disappears, and the patient returns to everyday life ultimately.
Indications for the operation
In most cases, surgical replacement of the joint is necessary if the patient has progressed diseases such as:
- degenerative-dystrophic diseases (arthrosis and others);
- rheumatoid arthritis;
- damage to the stabilizing ligaments, leading to severe deformity of the joint;
- a significant change in the anatomical shape of the knee joint;
- Post-traumatic arthritis.
The decision to replace the knee joint is made by an orthopedic surgeon based on a thorough clinical examination, x-ray data, and other diagnostic information. But in conjunction with the above data, the degree of personal discomfort of the patient plays an important role – severe daily pain, the inability to perform even ordinary household procedures, and low mobility of the knee joint.
Endoprosthesis surgery is resorted to only when conservative therapy aimed at relieving pain and reducing inflammation does not bring relief to the patient; it is ineffective.
The list of conditions in which knee replacement surgery is not possible or undesirable at the current time is as follows:
- blood clotting disorders;
- the presence of an allergic reaction to the components contained in the prostheses;
- infectious disease in the acute stage;
- a severe form of pulmonary and renal insufficiency, as well as cardiovascular pathologies (relative contraindication, consultation with the attending physician is necessary);
- a history of malignant neoplasms;
- age up to 25 years – at this age, a person leads an active life, which leads to rapid wear of prostheses;
- a severe degree of obesity, in which new joints may not be able to cope with the load;
- the painful general condition of the patient before the operation;
Types of artificial knee joints
There are different types of knee prostheses. The choice of prosthesis depends on the degree of wear, the extent of damage to the joint, and the stabilizing ligaments’ condition. The price of new prosthetic systems depends on the type of new joint and its manufacturer. These are the following types of knee endoprostheses:
- Single condylar – used to replace part of the knee joint in case of damage to one of the femur’s condyles (most often internal). The operation requires the presence of healthy stabilizing ligaments. Such an operation requires a minor invasive intervention, preserving a maximum of healthy tissue and reducing the patient’s recovery time;
- Modular – refers to the type of total (that is, the prosthesis of the entire joint) and is used in severe wear of the articular surface but in the presence of healthy ligaments. Each prosthesis before the operation is ideally adjusted to the characteristics of the bone and indications of a particular patient;
- Rotational – refers to the total type of knee prosthesis, but, unlike the modular one, it also stabilizes ligaments, allowing you to achieve both articulated and rotational movements naturally. This is the most radical option for prosthetics, but modern technologies make it possible to avoid extensive resection of bone tissue, even in this case. The cost of such prosthesis significantly exceeds other types of knee structures.
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