A surgical cut is made over the affected knee. The kneecap is positioned suitably and the ends of the thigh bone and shin bone are cut to fit the artificial joint. The undersurface of the knee cap is trimmed to allow the surgeon to place an artificial piece. Implants are different for men and women to account for differences in their anatomy.
A special bone cement is used and the two parts of the prosthesis are attached onto the ends of the femur, tibia and undersurface of the patella. Plastic is used on the end of the tibia and patella while metal is opted to be used on the end of the femur. A mini-surgical cut is sometimes done to avoid cutting the tendon on the front of the knee. Difficulty of the surgery is that there would be lack of a clear view for the surgeon. Otherwise this ensures a faster and less painful recovery.
A foley catheter may be inserted during surgery to monitor the function of your kidneys and hydration level. This will be removed on the second or third day after surgery.
In rare cases displacement or loosening of the artificial joint can occur. An infection in the area can lead to removal of the joint
The results of a total knee replacement are often excellent. The operation relieves pain in most patients and most need no help walking after recovery. Most prostheses last for 10 to 15 years. Some may last as long as 20 years.
You will have a large dressing done to your knee post-operatively. There will be special stockings placed on your legs to reduce the risk of blood clotting. There will also be a small tube that will be placed during surgery to drain out all the excess fluid from the joint area. An IV will also be given till such time that you will be able to take in food/fluids orally. The doctor would also advise certain medication and antibiotics to treat the pain.