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Archive for June 2nd, 2010

knee arthroplasty

Knee Replacement

Knee replacement or arthroplasty is a serious surgery.  It is used to replace the knee joint’s weight-bearing surfaces.  The surgery is very effective at relieving pain and increasing function in patients with OA.

However it should be postponed for as long as possible.  What happens is that the top of the tibial plateau and the bottom of the femur are replaced with titanium components.  The knee cap is also replaced with an artificial patella.  Over time the surrounding bones and anatomy of the leg shrink, but the components remain the same size.  Eventually, after about 15 to 20 years, the components can become too big for the surrounding anatomy.

At this time the components of the knee replacement have to be exchanged for smaller components.  Technology at the moment seldom allows for more than one revision.

So a person can enjoy one knee replacement until they outgrow it.  Once outgrown the components can be replaced only once.  If that person continues to shrink eventually they will be stuck with components that are too large for them that can never be replaced.

Make sure to explore every option for your knee OA.