There are many types of joints in a human body like fixed joint, cartilaginous joints and synovial joints. The knee joint is a synovial joint. The knee joint is one of the most important joints of our body. It is related to carrying the body weight whenever we walk, sit, bent, move, drive and perform other activities. We depend on our knees for support and mobility.
The knee joint is composed of three bones – the thigh bone (femur), the main bone of lower leg (Tibia) and knee-cap (Patella). The ends of all these three bones are covered with cartilage. The joint has lubricative synovial fluid, which is contained inside the synovial Membrane called the joint capsule. This cartilage of knee joints ensures effortless and smooth movement of bones without rubbing each other and the lubricative synovial fluid of synovial membrane contributies to maintaining the mobility of knee joint. This cartilage is a thin and flexible tissue that protects the bones and makes sure that the joint surfaces can slide easily without friction. This cartilage has a very limited capability of self-restoration.
The most common factor responsible for knee-joint pain is degeneration of the joint, which is called arthritis. There are several types of arthritis, one of the most common is osteoarthritis. It mainly affects weight bearing joints like knee, hip and spine. Normally we know it as wear and tear disease of the joints because osteoarthritis can lead to destruction of the cartilage, which is present between bones of the joint. Once this healthy cartilage gets degenerated the bones of the joint start rubbing against each other and patient feels pain and disability.
Common symptoms of osteoarthritis are pain in joints (while moving, sitting), stiffness of the joint, limited range of motion and deformity of the joint like knock-knees or bow-legs.
Since osteoarthritis mainly affects weight-bearing joints, this disease is more commonly seen in overweight patients. Hereditary is also a strong factor in development of osteoarthritis. The other factors that can contribute to development of osteoarthritis in knee-joints include overuse of joint, injury to knee – meniscus tears or ligament damage and fractures to the bones through the joint.
When conservative treatments for osteoarthritis like lifestyle changes, medication and physical therapy have been exhausted, knee-replacement surgery is the procedure of choice. Knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the damaged surfaces of the knee-joint to relieve pain and disability and correct mal-alignment of knee joint.
When there is a severaly damaged osteoarthritic knee, the joint is completely degenerated, total knee-replacement surgery is the preferred procedure. In this procedure, the surgeon shaves the damaged cartilage from the bones ends and replaces it with new surface called prostheses which can be made of alloy-metal, high-grade plastic and polymers. Use of Advanced technology in knee replacement surgery has made this procedure more accurate and long lasting.
The success of knee replacement surgery depends on correct alignment and balancing of the new joint; if the new joint is not replaced in correct alignment and balancing, the results may not be effective and accurate. This latest pin less navigation machine helps to make surgery accurate and replace the new joints in correct alignment and balancing. This helps to make the procedure virtually pain less.