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Knee replacements

The knee is the largest joint in the body and it is also one of the most complex.

The knee joint is made up of four bones, which are connected by muscles, ligaments, and tendons:

  • the femur, which is the large bone in the thigh
  • the tibia, which is the large shin bone
  • the fibula, which is the smaller shin bone, located next to the tibia
  • the patella (otherwise known as the knee cap), which is the small bone in the front of the knee.

With time, the bones may wear out. When this happens the joint becomes steadily more painful and eventually a knee replacement is the only way to get rid of the pain and improve your quality of life.

What is a knee replacement?

A total knee replacement procedure consists of replacing the diseased and painful joint surfaces of the knee with metal and plastic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee. There are many different types of knee replacement available.

The traditional type of total knee replacement involves replacing the bone at the lower end of the femur (thigh bone) and replacing the bone at the top of the tibia.

On occasion, only one side (either left or right) of the knee joint needs replacing. This type of procedure is called a unicondylar knee replacement.

Ask your specialist about what knee replacement they recommend and what the advantages and disadvantages of it are.


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