Knee replacement is a surgical procedure – performed in the U.S. since the 1960s – in which a diseased or damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. Made of metal alloys and high-grade plastics (to better match the function of bone and cartilage, respectively), the prosthesis is designed to move just like a healthy human joint. Over the years, knee replacement techniques and instrumentation have undergone countless improvements. Today, knee replacement is one of the safest and most successful types of major surgery. In about 90% of cases, it is complication-free and results in significant pain relief and restoration of mobility.
Each patient is unique, but generally candidates for knee replacement surgery have pain severe enough to restrict not only work and recreation, but also the routine activities of daily living, pain that is not relieved by more conservative methods of treatment, such as reduced activity, medication or physical therapy, significant joint stiffness and loss of mobility and X-rays that show advanced arthritis or other degenerative problems.
The National Institutes of Health has concluded that knee replacement surgery is “a safe and cost-effective treatment for alleviating pain and restoring function in patients who do not respond to non-surgical therapies.”
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, knee replacement procedures have resulted in significant restoration of function and reduction of pain in about 90% of patients.
Arthritis: The Leading Cause of Knee Pain
One of the most common causes of knee pain and loss of mobility is the wearing away of the joint’s cartilage lining. When this happens, the bones rub against each other, causing significant pain and swelling – a condition known as osteoarthritis. Trauma or direct injury to the knee can also cause osteoarthritis. Without cartilage, there is no shock absorption between the bones in the joint. This allows stress to build up in the bones and contributes to pain.
Discover the latest and most effective care and treatment for all your orthopedic and sports medicine needs at G.O. Ortho. Call (315) 735-4496 or use our convenient Request an Appointment form. We help patients from New Hartford, Rome, Whitesboro, Clinton, Herkimer and nearby communities.