Types Of Knee Replacement Surgery And Why You May Need Them

A myth surrounds the topic of knee replacement surgery. Many people believe that the only candidates for this type of surgery are older people with joint and bone issues. The truth is, there are multiple age groups that may face this surgery. In fact, you may be facing knee issues right now. If you are facing knee pain and issues, here are a few of the more common knee replacement surgeries and why one of them may be a solution for you. 

Total Knee Replacement

A total knee replacement actually replaces two parts of the knee. The first part of the replacement, which is a common replacement, is replacing the joint at the bottom of the femur. This is where many people feel knee pain and begin noticing chronic symptoms. Though the first part of the replacement near the bottom of the femur is part of the process, the second part deals with the knee itself. When the chronic pain becomes worse, part of the problem may be with the kneecap. If you are experiencing this type of pain, your orthopedic surgeon may decide to replace the ball of the knee cap with a dome of plastic or metal. By performing these two surgeries, your surgeon is actually performing a total knee replacement. 

Partial Knee Replacement

A partial knee replacement is ideal for patients that have strong ligaments surrounding the knee itself. If the knee is hurting, and the new joint is the problem, but the ligaments are strong then a partial replacement can take place. This partial replacement focuses on the kneecap and joint. It is done with a small incision that allows the replacement to take place. This type of knee replacement surgery can lead to a quicker recovery, however physical therapy is still necessary to make sure the ligaments remain strong. 

Kneecap Replacement

Kneecap replacements are a common option your orthopedic surgeon may mention. This type of replacement deals only with replacing the kneecap itself. There is a chance of failure with this type of replacement, especially if there are other issues that are unnoticed. For example, you may have weak ligaments that are lending to the pain you are having. You may also have issues with other leg joints that affect the knee. The kneecap replacement may be only one part of the treatment plan and should be discussed fully with your surgeon. 

If you are experiencing chronic knee pain, and you need a solution, contact your orthopedic physician. They can examine your knee problems, order x-rays, and help you determine the best treatment. Keep in mind, they may mention knee replacement during your treatment. If you are unfamiliar with the type of knee replacement they mention, discuss the procedure. Your physician can answer your questions and schedule you for your knee replacement.