More joint replacement surgeries are performed on the knee than on any other joint. Knee replacement surgery is generally recommended for patients with severe knee pain and disability caused by damage to cartilage from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or trauma. It is highly successful in relieving pain and restoring the function and use of the knee.
There are more than 150 knee replacement designs on the market today. Several manufacturers make knee implants, using metal alloys, high-grade plastics and advanced polymers. The brand and design used by your doctor or hospital depends on many factors, including your needs (based on your age, weight, activity level and health), the doctor's experience and familiarity with the device, and the cost and performance record of the implant. You may wish to discuss these issues with your doctor, but the final choice stays with your surgeon.
Knee replacement is a routine surgery with very predictable results. Nearly 240,000 Americans receive knee implants each year, and as the population ages, this number is expected to increase. A total knee replacement may have different purposes depending on the disease being treated. The standard objectives are: