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What is Total Knee Replacement?

When cartilage has worn away over the years, leaving a raw, arthritic knee joint, surgeons can use plastic or metal covering to restore range of motion, help eliminate pain and allow you to move easily with less discomfort.  Knee replacement is only recommended after careful diagnosis of your joint problem. Arthroscopic or microscopic surgery is not helpful once arthritis is advanced. Anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone injections rarely give the same long-term relief that knee replacement does.

What are the different types of Knee Replacement surgeries?

Revision of Total Knee Replacement
Knee replacements occasionally require subsequent operations to correct problems related to polyethylene wear (plastic), infection, loosening of one or more of the components, ligament injury, fracture or kneecap (patella) dislocation.

Unicompartmental Knee Replacement
Less invasive than a full knee replacement, this operation replaces only the portions of the joint most damaged by arthritis. This can have significant advantages, especially in younger patients who may require a second artificial knee replacement as the first one begins to wear out.

High Tibial Osteotomy
During a high tibial osteotomy, surgeons remove a wedge of bone from outside your knee, which causes your leg to bend slightly inward, similar to realigning a bowlegged knee to a knock-kneed position. This transfers weight to the outside (lateral) portion of your knee where the cartilage is still healthy.

ACL Reconstruction
Tearing of the ACL can occur with a sudden direction change or when a deceleration force crosses the knee. The patient often feels or hears a popping sensation, has the rapid onset of swelling and develops a buckling sensation in the knee when attempting to change direction. Treatment options following an ACL tear depend on age, activity level and the presence or absence of injury to other structures within the knee. In general, surgery is recommended for young patients who are active and for those in whom the ACL tear is associated with injury to other structures in the knee. Nonoperative (nonsurgical) treatment is recommended in older, more sedentary patients.

Cartilage Repair
ACI, also known as Carticel treatment, restores the articular surface and regenerates hyaline cartilage without compromising the integrity of healthy tissue or the subchondral bone. Carticel has demonstrated important benefits in patients with a type of lesion called a femoral focal lesion. If your orthopaedic surgeon has determined that you have this type of lesion, Carticel may be an appropriate treatment option. The procedure consists of harvesting healthy cartilage from your knee which is used to create new chondrocytes to be reimplanted into your knee.

Learn more about knee replacement surgery.

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