Knee Surgery

Knee replacement surgery can involve one or more damaged knee surfaces.

The three major knee surfaces are the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), upper end of the shin bone (tibia) and the knee cap (patella). At the ends of these bones, there is cartilage. In between the femur and tibia, there are small c-shaped pads called menisci. The menisci absorb shock and cushion the joint. If any of these parts becomes damaged or worn, moving the knee becomes painful and difficult. Knee replacement surgery creates new surfaces on the bones using metal components and replaces cartilage with smooth plastic. For this reason, some doctors may refer to the procedure as a knee “resurfacing” because only the surfaces of the bones are replaced.  In some cases, more of the bone made need to be replaced if it is too damaged for the surgeon to spare. The damaged bone is then cut and replaced. Extra bone may also need to be cut to fit specific prosthesis models.

When someone considers surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon will evaluate the potential surgical candidate’s medical history, and the knee’s motion, general health and stability. The doctor will also perform an X-ray or MRI to determine the condition of the ligaments, cartilage and bone in the joint. If the person is a candidate for surgery, the doctor will also explain all of the different surgical procedures, their risks, benefits and potential disadvantages.

Knee replacement surgery usually takes 1 to 2 hours, and general anesthesia is used. In some cases, the surgeon may use a robotic arm system that can help more accurately determine the damaged area and align the implants. This type of surgery is called computer-assisted surgery (CAS). Surgeons can obtain a 3-D model of the patient’s joint that allows them to align the implant more accurately.

There are several types of knee replacement devices (prostheses), including total implants and partial implants. Depending on the patient’s age, weight and activity level, the model will vary. Doctors will recommend a partial or total knee replacement surgery depending on the number of surfaces that are damaged. A specific model of prosthetic may also be recommended depending on the amount of damaged bone and cartilage that needs to be replaced.

If you or a loved one has had problems after knee replacement, Contact us today for a free legal case consultation and evaluation. Joel A. Nash, Esq. (216) 691-3000