Knee arthroplasty surgery (Total Knee Replacement) is preformed under a spinal or general anesthesia. The patient is placed on their back and a tourniquet applied to the upper thigh. The surgery takes approximately two hours.
An incision is made to expose the bones of the knee joint.
The damaged portions of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) are then cut at the appropriate angles using specialised jigs. Test components are then inserted to check the accuracy of the cuts and determine the thickness of plastic required to place in between the two components. Each knee is highly individual and will vary from patient to patient. To cater for this the knee replacement implants range in size and will be chosen and matched according to each individual patient. If there is more than the standard amount of bone loss then extra pieces of metal or bone can be added. The patella (knee cap) itself may be replaced depending on the condition of the knee.
The permanent components are then inserted and the knee is checked again to insure everything is working correctly.
The knee is then carefully closed, drains inserted and the knee dressed and bandaged.