Total Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement was in its earlier stages of development, when total hip replacement was becoming a widely performed operation. Today, the number of knee replacements implanted each year, in the UK, exceeds the number of hip replacements, but there is still plenty of work to be done. The knee joint moves in a much more complex way to the hip joint, and this gives the knee replacement prosthesis as lot of work to do. Just like the total hip replacement, the results of total knee replacement can be life changing in the way pain can be relieved and function improved.

Challenges do remain with this technique however, and orthopaedic surgeons are still working on how to reduce the risk of patients being dissatisfied with their outcome. All the major countries that record results on knee replacement find that 10-15% of patients are not completely satisfied with their surgery, although most of these would still report having less pain. No surgeon is immune to this phenomenon and this is why it is discussed at international meetings every year. Your surgeon should be able to minimise these risks by ensuring that surgery is performed for the correct indications and at the correct stage of disease.

In a similar way to total hip replacement, there are many brands of implant available, and they can vary to some extent in terms of the techniques with which they are implanted. There is no substitute for good surgical technique and having a keen eye for the subtle details that may need to be adjusted or attended to during your operation. A good surgeon will always start with these good core principles and use modern technology as an aid to supplement these principles, but not to replace them.

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