A detailed understanding of how a knee replacement procedure is performed and how the artificial knee works after surgery
Let us look at the types of knee replacement surgeries.
There are mainly two types of knee replacement surgeries. The surgeon decides which one would be a better choice depending on the degree of dysfunction of the joint.
- Total knee replacement
- Partial knee replacement
Total Knee Replacement
A total knee replacement procedure takes one to three hours:
A total knee replacement consists of replacement of the knee with an artificial joint, made of metal and plastic components. Both sides of your knee joint are replaced in this procedure. The procedure may be chosen for obese people or those who suffer a severe joint damage/malfunction.
The damaged ends of the thighbone and shinbone are carefully sliced to adjust the artificial knee and is checked for the flexibility in movement. The back of the knee cap is also sliced according to the accurately shaped bones, to attach the prosthetic replacement. The end of the thigh bone is replaced by a curved metal piece, and a flat metal plate is placed at the end of your shinbone. These artificial joints are fixed using special prosthetic material called bone cement. Between the metal joints, a soft plastic spacer is placed which acts like the cartilage. This plastic spacer reduces friction between the joints while they move.This replaced joint lasts for 15-20 years.
Partial Knee Replacement
This type of knee replacement is minimally invasive and allows the ligaments and the outer compartment of the knee to remain intact. It replaces only one side of the knee joint unlike a total knee replacement. It is a procedure which requires a smaller incision, and less bone being removed. The recovery in a partial knee replacement is much faster and easier.
The advantages to a partial knee replacement surgery include a shorter hospital stay and recovery period. PKR often results in more natural movement in the knee and you may be able to be more active than after a total knee replacement.
Below are the steps of a knee replacement surgery you can refer to:
The procedure steps
- A knee replacement surgery is performed either under general anaesthesia or an epidural that makes the lower body numb and sensationless during the surgery.
- The procedure begins with the surgeon making an incision at the front edge of your knee.
- After separating the muscle and the ligaments, the surgeon slides the knee cap or the patella bone to the side to gain access to the inside of your knee.
- Specialized tools are used to slice out the damaged part of the femur and the tibia.
- In most cases, the affected under side of the patella is also sliced out.
- A dummy joint is placed to check if the joint is functioning properly and the required adjustments are made, the surgical team cleans the bone ends, and fit the final prosthesis.
- Your surgeon will then prepare the remaining bones to receive your new prosthetic knee.
- The ends of the bones are prepared and positioned with a bone cement.
- Before the incision is closed, an x-ray is taken to check if the positioning of the joint is correct.
- The surgeon closes the incision with stitches and leaves a drain in place to remove excess fluid.
There are a few other procedures based on the degree of damage and dysfunctioning of the knee joint. Let’s have a look at what these procedures are:
Mini-incision surgery (MIS)
This is a new procedure recommended by National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It can be used for both total or partial knee replacements.The cut is a smaller than in a standard knee replacement surgery. Specialised instruments are then used to move around the tissue, instead of cutting through it. This results in a quicker recovery.
Latest technology like computer assisted surgical treatment is now introduced, which makes the procedure much safer and easier. Computerized images are tracked on infrared cameras during the operation. These computerized images enable the replaced knee joint to be placed more accurately. In this procedure, the surgeon makes minor incisions to access the joint. This results in a shorter hospital stay following a quick recovery. Only around 1% of knee replacements are performed in this way and we at Sri Sri holistic also have this facility and equipment to perform this type of surgery.
Patient-specific knee replacement
This is one of the most recent advancement in knee replacement surgeries. A complete guide using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan is prepared for the surgery. This guide helps in creating implants that fit best for the patient. The advantage of this procedure of knee replacement is that the replaced knee lasts longer, as the fitting of the artificial knee is very accurate.
Dr. Venkat Ram Prasad Vallamshetla is one of the best orthopedic surgeon in Hyderabad. He has done his MBBS, MS Ortho (OSM), MRCS (Edin) and FRCS (Trauma & Orth) from Edinburgh. He has additionally undergone training and has worked in Birmingham for over 12 years with a specialization in Joint Replacement, arthroscopic surgery, sports injuries.
Sri Sri Holistic Hospital is a leading 100 bedded multi specialty hospital in Nizampet, Kukatpally, Hyderabad. Sri Sri Holistic Hospital provides high standards of healthcare with a combination of advanced technology and state of art clinical expertise. With more than 52 Internationally experienced doctors and 400+ staff, we served at least 50,000 patients so far.