Are there any alternatives to a total knee replacement?
- Over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen may help control the pain.
- Supplements to your diet may also help relieve your symptoms, but you should always check with your doctor before you take these.
- Using a walking stick can support your mobility and make walking easier, whilst wearing an elasticated support on your knee can help it feel stronger.
- Regular moderate exercise can help to reduce stiffness in your knee.
- Physiotherapy may help to strengthen your muscles over time.
- A steroid injection into your knee joint can sometimes reduce pain and stiffness.
However, many people will find these measures become less effective if your arthritis gets worse or your knee joint is severely damaged and, depending on the severity of your condition, surgery may be the best option.
What does the operation involve?
The operation usually takes an hour to 90 minutes and there are various anaesthetic techniques available. You will have the opportunity to discuss this with our anaesthetist.
Your surgeon will make an incision on the front of your knee and remove the damaged joint surfaces, this involves removing the end of the thigh bone, and the top of the shinbone, and replacing them with prostheses (artificial knee implants). The artificial knee is usually made of metal alloy and high-density plastic. A plastic button may also be used to resurface the back of the kneecap if needed. Your knee replacement is fixed to the bone using acrylic cement or special coatings on the prosthesis that bond directly to the bone.