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Joint Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery is really a cartilage replacement. The knee itself is not replaced, only the cartilage on the ends of the bones. Knee replacement implants include a metal alloy on the bottom of the thighbone and polyethylene (plastic) on the top of the tibia and underneath the kneecap. The implant is designed to create a new, smoothly functioning joint that prevents painful bone-on-bone contact. Your surgeon may elect to replace all or part of your knee, depending on your condition and the extent to which your knee is affected by arthritis.

Total Knee replacement
The articular surface of the knee, where the joint motion occurs, relies on polyethylene to reduce friction and allow motion. Polyethylene components for the knee are manufactured in one of two ways: direct compression molding (DCM) or machined from bar stock. The vast majority of Biomet’s polyethylene components for the knee are direct compression molded.Unlike machining, direct compression molding does not tear at the polyethylene. The machining process can result in areas of high stress, which may over time lead to breakdown of the polyethylene. Direct compression molding greatly reduces these high stress areas, thus creating a potentially more durable component.

Partial Knee Replacement
In patients with only limited knee arthritis, surgeons may elect to perform a unicompartmental (partial) knee replacement. Unlike total knee replacement involving removal of all the knee joint surfaces, a unicompartmental knee replacement replaces only one side of the knee joint. Knee osteoarthritis usually occurs first in the medial (inside) compartment as this side of the knee bears most of the weight. In knees that are otherwise healthy, a unicompartmental approach allows the outer compartment and all ligaments to remain intact. By retaining all of the undamaged parts, the joint may bend better and function more naturally.

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