Millions of people around the world undergo knee surgery each year, and surgeons generally perform four basic steps during knee replacement surgery. Let’s talk about how those steps generally work in a knee operation, and where you can go in Fort Lauderdale to get the highest-quality knee surgery performed by an expert in the field of orthopedics.
Why Would I Need Knee Surgery?
There are many reasons why people may require knee surgery, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, severe trauma (such as a car accident or sports injury), or other degenerative diseases. Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee surgery, as this degenerative condition involves the wearing-down of the cartilage in the joint. Without enough protective cartilage in the knee, the bones can rub together during movement, leading to pain and inflammation.
Knee surgery helps individuals who are in chronic pain or who cannot perform necessary daily functions (e.g., walking, bending to pick something up) because of a knee condition. The goal of knee replacement surgery is to remove dead or diseased bone and other tissue, and replace it with prosthetic implants so that the knee can move freely without pain.
What Happens in Knee Surgery
1. Preparing the Bone
Damaged or diseased cartilage and bone are removed, creating a smooth bone surface. This smooth surface is important for the implant to adhere properly to the bone.
2. Inserting and Positioning the Metal Plates
Next, metal implants, or plates, are inserted onto the lower end of the femur (upper leg bone) and the upper end of the tibia (large lower leg bone) in order to create a new joint surface. The metal pieces are usually cemented or “press-fit” into the bone.
3. Re-shaping the Kneecap
Oftentimes, the kneecap changes shape and position due to disease. In addition, the metal implants are not a perfect replica of the bone, so the kneecap may need to be slightly cut and resurfaced so it can glide smoothly along the implant.
4. Replacing the Meniscus
In most cases, when the knee is damaged enough that it needs to be replaced, so too are the menisci. The meniscus is a tough but flexible semi-disc of cartilage between the bones of your knee (each knee has two menisci) that absorbs impact when you walk and prevents the bones from grinding together.
Therefore, in the last step of a total knee replacement, a medical-grade plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to mimic what the meniscus did, creating a smooth gliding surface. This helps to ensure that the new joint will move like a knee naturally moves.
Knee Surgery in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Overall, the four basic steps to knee surgery include preparing the bone, inserting the metal plates, re-shaping the kneecap, and replacing the meniscus with a spacer. Total knee replacement is an important but intense surgery, so it is vital that your knee surgery is performed by an expert in total knee replacement. Dr. Paul Meli is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon in Fort Lauderdale who has been performing total knee replacements for more than 30 years, and he is eager to help relieve your knee pain today.
To make an appointment with us, give us a call at (954) 324-7711, or click here to fill out our appointment request form online. At Paul Meli Orthopedic Surgery, it is our goal to ease your pain and get you back to your life pain-free if possible, so call us today to find out more about a total knee replacement!