Nearly all routine activities, such as walking, running, shoveling snow, and playing sports involve the use of the knee. Because of the strain the knee joint commonly receives, knee pain is one of the most common complaints of Americans today. Sources of knee pain include degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis, traumatic injuries, like ligament and meniscal tears and strains, as well as chronic overuse.
Innovations in medicine provide orthopedic surgeons and patients with a multitude of treatment options to reduce the limitations and symptoms associated with musculoskeletal knee conditions. One of the most effective, safe and commonly performed procedures to treat excessive knee pain is total knee replacement.
Total knee replacement has been performed for decades in the US, providing hundreds of thousands of patients with the ability to walk and move more freely. Most commonly performed to treat severe onset of osteoarthritis, total knee replacement can also treat rheumatoid arthritis and traumatic conditions affecting the knee joint, such as a result of a sports injury. If a patient’s chronic knee pain cannot be alleviated through noninvasive, conservative methods and other surgical procedures, then total knee replacement surgery may be indicated.
The knee is the largest joint in the body, and is comprised of the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap). The femur attaches and pivots on top of the tibia, which forms a joint that is covered by the patella for protection. Ligaments provide stability to the knee joint, and attach the femur to the tibia. Articular cartilage lines the surfaces of the bone to cushion the joint and aid in movement. Additionally, a tissue known as the synovial membrane provides lubrication to the knee to reduce friction and aid in healthy motion. Another type of cartilage, called a meniscus also is present, acting like a shock absorber between the bones. If any of the components within the knee fail or degenerate due to overuse, intense pain can arise and cause further damage to the joint.
Total knee replacement is a procedure commonly performed to treat symptoms associated with severe osteoarthritis, a degenerative condition that plagues millions of Americans. Total knee replacement involves surgically removing the affected damaged cartilage and a thin amount of bone, and then resurfacing it with a prosthesis that takes its place. The procedure is much like placing a cap on a tooth.
During a total knee replacement procedure, the orthopedic surgeon first makes precise cuts to the top of the tibia and the bottom of the femur to remove the worn-out joint. Next, the surgeon implants a prosthesis that mimics the feel and motion of a natural knee. The kind of implant inserted depends on the unique needs of the patient. Types of knee replacement implants include custom-fit knees, gender-specific male and female knees, as well as high tech bearing and fixation surfaces.
Dr. Harwin is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon renowned for his experience, skill, and accomplishments in joint replacement, reconstruction, and arthroscopic surgery. Dr. Harwin has been named ”New York Super Doctor,“ ”Best Doctor,“ as well las ”Top Doctor in the Metro Area.“ For a comprehensive evaluation with Dr. Harwin regarding your knee pain, schedule an appointment at his offices in Manhattan and The Bronx.