Knee replacement surgery, also know as knee arthroplasty, is amongst the most important advances in the areas or orthopaedic surgery in the 20th century. It has been widely performed since the late 1960s.
This surgery involves the replacement of worn out or eroded surfaces of the knee joints with synthetic materials such as plastic or metal components or implants to help the knee regains its full range of motion. Knee replacement surgery can be performed either in partial or total. A partial replacement or unicompartmental knee replacement surgery involves only one of the knee joints whereas a total knee replacement includes both knees.
Replacement of these joints are necessary when patients experience pain as a result of a joint disorder that involves inflammation the same joints, or better known as arthritis. Knee replacement surgery is usually considered as a treatment option when all means and non-surgical methods have been tested to reduce the knee pain resulting from arthritis have failed.
Improvements in the areas of surgical techniques and materials used to replace the knee joints have increase efficacy and the overall surgical outcomes. It is estimated that every year 581,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States (US) alone.