Learn about Knee Replacement Surgery, Denver
Anatomy of the Knee
The knee is the largest joint in the body and is affected by arthritis more than any other joint. The knee joint is a “hinge” style joint because like the hinges on a door, the motion allowed is back and forth. The knee also has the ability to rotate (turn) and translate (glide).
The knee joint is composed of three parts:
- Femur (thigh bone)
- Tibia (shin bone)
- Patella (knee cap)
In a normal knee, these bones are covered with a smooth cartilage that cushions the bones and enables them to move easily. There are two groups of muscles in the knee: the quadriceps, located on the front of the thighs, which straighten the legs; and the hamstrings, located in the back of the legs, help bend the knee.
How are Knee Problems Diagnosed?
Your surgeon will take a complete medical history and perform a physical examination. Along with these, the following diagnostic procedures may be performed:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computed Tomography Scan (CT or CAT scan)
Total Knee Replacement
In the arthritic knee, the cartilage layers are destroyed resulting in bone rubbing against bone which causes pain, muscle weakness and limited motion.
The diseased knee joint is removed and replaced with an artificial knee joint called a prosthesis. A knee prosthesis is made of a combination of metal and plastic or metal and ceramic. There are three basic parts to a replacement joint:
- The femoral component covers your thigh bone
- The tibial component covers the top of your shin bone
- The patellar component covers the underside of your knee cap
The components are either cemented in place or designed to have your own bone grow and adhere to the implant. The type of replacement joint will be selected by your surgeons based on your age, bone quality, conditions of your ligaments and the area or the knee affected.
Your replacement joint is extremely strong and moves together to allow normal motion of the knee joint.
Partial Knee Replacement
For some people experiencing knee pain, there may only be damage on one side of the knee. For this patient, the partial, or unicompartmental, knee replacement may be a better option because only one side of the joint is resurfaced. More of the natural anatomy can be preserved, and many people get back to regular life faster than those who have a traditional knee replacement.
Our top surgeons are available to consult with you. Call now for an appointment 720-460-2565.