Total Knee Replacement
-Total knee replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure. giving patients the chance to walk again without pain. This procedure essentially resurfaces or replaces the worn out parts of the knee joint allowing it to move freely again. All your ligaments and tendons remain in place. My favorite way to understand what happens is an analogy to a car tire. When the tire tread is worn out, you need a new tire. Resurfacing the tire puts a brand new tread, or bearing surface, on the ends of the bones that make up the knee joint. Understanding this treatment as much as possible will help you make the right decision for yourself or someone you care about.
Causes of osteoarthritis
In the majority of cases, osteoarthritis is caused by simple wear and tear of the knee. Talking the tire analogy a step further, you get a tread wear guarantee from your parents and you must consider how you have ‘driven your car’ during your lifetime. More active people may have a higher chance of causing more cartilage damage and in turn, more osteoarthritis.
This wear and tear process causes pain, usually with activity. The worse it gets, the more limited one can be, eliminating things from daily life that were once important.
Currently, there is no medical cure for osteoarthritis. The treatments other than replacement surgery are essentially ‘band-aids’ on a complex problem. They will not last. Only the surgical treatment will cure the problem (re-tread the tire!!)
What is a knee replacement
A knee replacements a resurfacing operation. When osteoarthritis leads to worn out joint surfaces, the solution is resurface the joint. This procedure does exactly that. It does not remove your entire knee but rather just replaces the worn out surfaces with new smooth surfaces.
Is a knee replacement the right thing for you ?
The decision to have a knee replacement procedure is big one. There is no simple answer for anyone and it’s almost impossible to compare with your friend or neighbor who had surgery. For most people, we like to try other simple treatments first before having surgery. Usually I think surgery is right for you when you are no longer doing the things you love, and your quality of life is decreased. You should have this discussion with your surgeon and go over all of your questions to make the right decision for you.