The online resource for navigated knee replacement surgery

Who needs total knee replacement surgery?

The knee is the largest joint in the body and one of the most complex. The knee joint is made up of four bones, which are connected by muscles, ligaments, and tendons:

  • the femur, which is the large bone in the thigh
  • the tibia, which is the large shin bone
  • the fibula, which is the smaller shin bone, located next to the tibia
  • the patella (otherwise known as the knee cap), which is the small bone in the front of the knee.

Our poor knees are subject to massive strains placed on them by everyday activities such as walking, running and even just standing up from a seated position.

The knee joint can also get damaged by diseases such as chronic arthritis, which wears away the normal cartilage covering the surface of the knee. Cartilage is a smooth substance that cushions the bones and enables them to glide freely. It also acts as a shock absorber and stabiliser for the knee joint. 

Injury and disease can cause severe pain and discomfort which interferes with normal movement and mobility. Your doctor may advise you to consider knee replacement surgery if you have tried other treatments which have not been successful in reducing that pain and improving the quality of life.

Total knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is when a damaged, worn or diseased knee is replaced with an artificial joint.

More active lifestyles and longer lifespans mean that the number of replacement knee operations is increasing. Over 70,000 knee replacements are carried out in England and Wales and that number is expected to rise dramtically over the decade.

A replacement knee can last up to15 years, depending on a range of factors. Joints replaced using computer navigated surgery may increase the life of the implant due to the significant improvement in joint alignment.

What does total knee replacement surgery involve?

You may have either a general or local anaesthetic throughout the procedure which will take about one and-a-half hours.

For the surgeon to access the joint an incision, which may be six to ten inches long, will be made over the knee. The damaged cartilage and joint will then be removed and replaced with an artificial knee.

The replacement joint, which is designed to work in the same way as a healthy knee, is fixed using bone cement or a range of other fixation methods. The main wound is then closed with stitches or clips and covered with a dressing. Your knee will be tightly bandaged to help minimise swelling.

An increasing number of orthopaedic surgeons use computer navigated surgery to perform total knee replacements. Find out why.

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Order your free Patient Information Pack which includes a DVD about computer navigated surgery, patient case studies and answers to commonly asked questions about total knee replacement.

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OrthoPilot News

Patients needing knee replacements to benefit from ‘navigated surgery’ revolution

A Salford-based orthopaedic surgeon is spearheading the use of computer navigated knee surgery, training colleagues throughout Europe in the pioneering technique.

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