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Knee Replacements and Knee Replacement Surgery

This page will tell you more about Knee Replacements and Knee Replacement Surgery at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust – a renowned Centre of Excellence for Orthopaedic Surgery.

  • Knee replacement surgery (arthroplasty) involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint
  • There are two main types: Total Knee Replacement- both sides of the knee joint are replaced. Partial Knee Replacement - only one side of your joint is replaced in a smaller operation with a shorter hospital stay and recovery period
  • It is a routine operation that reduces knee pain most commonly caused by arthritis

Why Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement is an effective treatment for a knee joint that can’t function adequately or painlessly.  A knee replacement will last for around 15 to 20 years as long as it is cared for and not put under too much strain.

The most common causes of knee damage are:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Haemophilia
  • Gout
  • Knee Injury

How is it performed?

Total Knee Replacement will follow this procedure:

  • The damaged ends of your thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) are removed
  • The ends are  measured and shaped to fit the artificial replacement
  • A dummy joint is positioned to test that the joint is working properly
  • Adjustments are made, the bone ends are cleaned, and the final prosthesis is fitted
  • The end of your thigh bone is replaced by a curved piece of metal and your shin bone by a flat metal plate
  • These are fixed into place or are treated to encourage your bone to fuse with the replacement parts
  • A plastic spacer is placed between the pieces of metal which reduces friction in your joint as it moves
  • The back of the knee cap may also be replaced, depending on your knee damage
  • The wound is closed with either stitches or clips and a dressing applied while the wound heals

Partial Knee Replacement may be suitable for those who only have knee damage on one side. The procedure involves a smaller incision and less bone removal.

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