The knee is a complex joint that joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The other bones that comprise the knee joint are the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella). Cushions of cartilage allow the knee to glide and function with ease and act as shock absorbers.

The cartilage covers the entire knee surface on the femur side and the tibia side. So if there was a zone inside the knee joint that becomes damaged, even a small portion, then whenever that piece of the knee joint is bearing the weight, it hurts. If the cartilage is gone, the force is going right to the bone, so it leads to pain and difficulty while walking or moving about. Conditions leading to this chronic knee pain can include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Knee injuries, such as fractures or ligament tears
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Total knee replacement surgery replaces the entire knee joint with a prosthesis so the joint can move comfortably. In partial knee replacement, the surgeon replaces just the damaged part of the knee while preserving the healthy bone and ligaments. Through an organized recovery process and strength building program, the prosthetic knee will allow you to regain the pain-free movement you have lost. The majority of patients who have knee replacement surgery will experience great benefits, including:

  • Decrease in pain
  • Increased mobility
  • Improvements in completing daily activities
  • Improved quality of life

Find an orthopedic surgeon near you.