Your knee joint is made up of the lower end of the femur,
which hinges on the upper end of the tibia, and the patella, or kneecap,
which slides along the groove formed by the femoral condyles.
Total knee replacement surgery is a procedure in which a painful or poorly functioning knee is replaced with artificial components.
If your physician has recommended a total knee replacement,
it is probably because your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury.
Your surgeon will begin by making an incision along the front edge of your knee.
After separating the muscles and ligaments around your knee,
your surgeon will incise the knee capsule to gain access to the inside of the joint.
Using specialized tools, your surgeon will remove the damaged bone and cartilage on the ends of the femur and the tibia,
and in most cases, remove the underside of the patella.
Your surgeon will then prepare the remaining bone to receive your new prosthetic knee.
This generally consists of a femoral, a tibial, and a patellar component.
Once the ends of the bones are prepared, your surgeon will cement the new prostheses into position.
Before your incision is closed, an x-ray will be taken to ensure that the new components of your knee are positioned correctly.
Your surgeon will close the incision with stitches or staples and temporarily leave a drain in place to remove excess fluid.