If you and your surgeon have exhausted all non-surgical measures for treating your knee pain and inflammation, you might be a candidate for total knee replacement. This procedure is often the only option for restoring an active, pain-free life. If your surgeon does decide that this is the best option for you, the following information will give you an understanding of what to expect.
Purpose of Total Knee Replacement Surgery
The purpose of knee replacement surgery is to cut away the damaged bone of the knee joint and replace it with smooth, artificial implants known as prostheses. This prevents the bones from rubbing together and provides a smooth knee joint.
In total knee replacement, each prosthesis is comprised of four parts. The tibial component has two elements and replaces the top of the shinbone (tibia). This prosthesis is made up of a metal tray attached directly to the bone and a plastic spacer that provides the bearing surface.
The femoral component then replaces the bottom of the thighbone (femur). This component also replaces the groove where the kneecap (patella) sits. The patella component replaces the surface of the kneecap, which rubs against the thighbone. The kneecap then protects the joint and the resurfaced patellar button slides smoothly on the front of the knee joint.
Some questions you probably are thinking about are: what kind of implant device you will be receiving, what is it made of, and why is your surgeon using a particular kind of device? If you haven't discussed this with your surgeon, you should, because not all knee implant devices are made of the same material.
OXINIUM◊ Oxidized Zirconium, material for knee implants
Due to significant advancements in technology, there is a new material for knee implant devices called OXINIUM Oxidized Zirconium that has proven to be a superior metal for use in knee replacements. Because of its hardness, smoothness and resistance to scratching, OXINIUM materials may last longer and exhibit superior performance characteristics over the alternative material option, cobalt chrome. Ask your surgeon about an OXINIUM knee implant and if it is the right implant option for you.