What is a knee replacement?
The total knee replacement
A total knee arthroplasty means that the worn cartilage in the three compartments of the knee is replaced by an 8mm thick implant consisting of metal and plastic.
Prostheses are manufactured from high-quality materials, CrCo alloy. A classic knee prosthesis essentially consists of two metal elements: one for the upper leg, the femur, which is semi-circular, and one for the lower leg, the tibia, which is flat.
In between there is a polyethylene element from high-quality polyethylene (plastic) that serves as a new kind of cartilage. The worn cartilage of the kneecap is also replaced by an adapted polyethylene element of 8mm thick.
Thus, in contrast to a total hip replacement, in a knee replacement the bones are resurfaced with metal and the geometry of the bones is kept intact.
The partial knee replacement
Very exceptional the wear of the cartilage of the knee remains limited to one compartment. The rest of the knee joint is not affected by osteoarthritis and in fact consists of normal cartilage. In these cases, a unicondylar or partial knee prosthesis can be indicated: only the "worn out" part is replaced.