A healthy knee joint has a smooth lining of cartilage — a cushioning surface that helps the joint absorb the stresses of normal daily activities. This surface also allows the bones of the joint to glide without friction or pain.
Over the years, our knees experience stresses and strains that are a normal part of daily life. Arthritis, injury and disease can wear down the cartilage and allow the femur (thigh bone) to rub against the tibia (lower leg bone) and cause pain.
This is common as people enter their 60s and 70s. But it can also occur at a younger age, depending on an individual’s weight, activity level, and anatomy. Arthritis can also be caused by infections, traumatic injury, and inflammatory disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
Knee pain can be treated with medication, injections, physical therapy, and surgery. For many patients, though, knee replacement surgery is the best option. A qualified physician can help determine the best course of treatment.
Knee Replacement Surgery
During surgery, the joint surfaces are removed and replaced with artificial components. This restores a smooth surface in the knee. Studies show that knee-replacement surgery is very effective in treating pain and returning people to the activities they love. In fact, 95 percent of patients say their pain is dramatically reduced, allowing them to resume a normal life.
Some options available for knee-replacement surgery patients:
Partial Knee Replacement
This surgery — sometimes called a “uni,” short for unicompartmental knee arthroplasty — replaces just one compartment of the knee, either the inside or outside compartment, with a prosthesis.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
This approach utilizes a smaller incision and aims to minimize trauma to muscles and other soft tissues. Benefits may include less discomfort and blood loss, shorter hospitalization and rehabilitation, and a quicker return to work.
Some of our surgeons offer a “gender-specific” knee for women who may benefit from a smaller joint. Each patient can rest assured that their surgeon will choose the joint that best fits with their unique body size and alignment.