Knee replacement is now overtaking hip replacement in frequency in the UK and continuing to rise.
Success rates have also improved with the modern knee with 12-15 year results being reported. So why replace the knee, the over riding reason is pain. Other factors also have a role in the decision making process for example age, level of activity and medical health.
ABOUT KNEE REPLACEMENT
When discussing knee arthritis we are usually referring to osteoarthritis or ‘wear and tear’ damage to the knee, which can be related to age, previous injuries and our genetic makeup. There are other forms of arthritis, which are responsible for joint pain such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. Previous injuries such as broken bones, joint surface injuries or torn cartilage can increase the risk of developing knee osteoarthritis.
The underlying process in knee osteoarthritis, is of thinning and damage of the joint surface (articular cartilage) progressing to exposed bone. Eventually areas of exposed bone grind together which can cause pain and limitation of daily activities.
Arthritis can affect any of the three main areas (called compartments) within the knee with the most commonly affected area on the inner aspect of the knee between the end of the thigh and the top of the shin called the medial compartment.
ABOUT YOUR INITIAL VISIT
During the initial visit, your condition will be discussed in detail together with any past medical conditions. Often patients have questions, which we can go through with you. This is followed by a careful assessment of your condition, sometimes together with further investigations such as an Xray or scan. With this information you can be informed of the differing options for treatment which may include tablets, physiotherapy, injections or surgery.