Types Of Knee Replacements

What are the different types of knee replacements? Knee replacement is also called knee arthroplasty. It is a surgical procedure used to replace the weight bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability. A knee injury could result from many occurances. Some of them are: motor vehicle, train, aeroplane and motor bike accidents. In addition it could result from various sporting activities. As a result of the improvement in technology, knee replacement has become very popular in the developed world. In this procedure the knee of an injured person is totally or partially replaced which has the advantage in that it allows a person to continue enjoying himself.

This could not be possible if it was not for the knee replacement surgery. According to a recent research by mayo clinic, there is reduction of pain in the knee when the knee replacement surgery is done. 90% of the patients interviewed, they improve their abilities to do activities without increasing any abilities. However, during the surgery, the knee could be a painful experience if the amount of tear and wear was substantial.

The materials used for knee replacements include: metals, plastics, titanium, cobalt and polyurethane among others. However, not all knee replacement procedures succeed. Some fail as a result of the following: Wear of the replacement item, osteolysis (a condition where the bone surrounding a knee replacement prostheses becomes soft and spongy), loosening, injury and misuse. There are four main types of knee replacements. These are: non-constrained, semi-constrained, and constrained and unicondyla.

Non-constrained implant

This is the most common and most successful types of all knee replacements surgeries. This is because the components used in the surgery are not linked to each other. They also have no steadiness built into the system which makes it rely heavily on the person’s own ligaments. At times it is used when an elderly person has been involved in a minor accident.

Semi Constrained implant

His component increases steadiness in the knee. It is used if the surgeon finds it necessary to remove all the inner knee ligaments. In other cases, the surgeon feels that the new ligament will be more stable with the semi-constrained implant. This is not very common these days but many doctors prefer to do it anyway.

Constrained replacement

This type of knee replacement is also called hinged replacement. The constrained type of knee replacement is very rarely used. However, when need be, they are preferred by a select number of surgeons. Here, the two parts of the knee joint are linked by a hinged mechanism. It is used when there is a major knee injury and the knee becomes unstable. This is done especially for old people who are undergoing a revision of replacement procedure.

Unicondylar knee replacement

His procedure replaces the half of the knee joint. If only one side of the knee joint is affected, then it is advisable to use this procedure. However, this is a new technology and many surgeons are using any of the mentioned types of knee replacements to perform operations especially the total replacement. However, few surgeons are using this technology but its future seems bright.