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Knee replacement surgery can be performed as a partial or a total knee replacement. In general, the surgery consists of replacing the diseased or damaged joint surfaces of the knee with metal and plastic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee.
Joints are the tissues that connect bones together and allow them to move. Joints are made up of tissue, and these tissues move as a response to muscle movements.
These tissues undergo a lot of stress over the course of your life. While there is a fluid that prevents joints from experiencing too much friction (known as synovial fluid), every time your joints move they receive a small amount of damage.
Generally, the joints regenerate as a response to this damage. But over time these joints can degenerate to the point where they are beyond normal repair. This causes the joints to experience inflammation, and this inflammation is known as degenerative knee joint disease.
Arthritis of the knee is a condition in which there is loss of the articular cartilage of the femur, tibia, or patella. This can be seen on x-ray as a loss of the space between the two ends of the bone.
Because of the loss of the gliding surfaces of the bone, people with arthritis may feel as though their knee is stiff and their motion is limited. . The pain is usually felt in the inside part of the knee, but also may be felt in the front or back of the knee. As the cartilage is worn away preferentially on one side of the knee joint, people may find their knee will become more knock-kneed or bow-legged.
Arthritis of the knee usually occurs in people as they enter their 60’s-70’s, but this is variable depending upon factors such as weight, activity level, and knee anatomy. Arthritis may be caused by a variety of factors, including simple wear and tear, inflammatory disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, infections, and post-traumatic. People who have had a prior injury to their knee, damaging the meniscus or cruciate ligament may also develop arthritis. The end result of all these processes is a loss of the cartilage of the knee joint, leading to bone rubbing against bone.