The knee is the most commonly replaced joint in the body. Knee joint replacement usually involves replacing an injured or ailing joint with an artificial joint; however, depending on where the damage to your knee has occurred, a partial knee replacement may be an option.
A partial knee joint replacement resurfaces only the damaged portion of the joint, either the inside, outside, or kneecap with artificial components, leaving the rest of the joint alone. This procedure is most appropriate for patients who have osteoarthritis that is confined to just one area of the joint.
Partial knee replacements may be able to delay or eliminate the need for a total knee replacement. If cartilage loss is more widespread, however, your knee specialist at Lancaster Orthopedic Group may recommend total knee replacement surgery.
In total knee replacement surgery, also called total knee arthroplasty (TKA), the surgeon removes the diseased knee joint and inserts an artificial replacement joint in its place. The artificial joint is made of metal alloys, plastics, and polymers. It mimics the function and feel of the natural knee, and restores the alignment and function.
More than 90% of knee replacements continue to function well 15 to 20 years after surgery. As knee joint replacement technology and surgery techniques improve, your new knee may last even longer.