Knee replacement is a surgical procedure — performed in the U.S. since the 1960s — in which a diseased or damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. Made of metal alloys and high-grade plastics (to better match the function of bone and cartilage, respectively), the prosthesis is designed to move just like a healthy human joint. Over the years, knee replacement techniques and instrumentation have undergone countless improvements. Today, knee replacement is one of the safest and most successful types of major surgery; in about 90% of cases it is complication-free and results in significant pain relief and restoration of mobility.1
1. AAOS website, http://orthoinfo.aaos. org/topic.cfm?topic=A00385, accessed April 2011.
Knee Implants That Promote Easier Motion1,2,3
Stryker knee replacements are different than traditional knee replacements because they are designed to work with the body to promote easier motion,1,2,3 and a study has shown a more rapid return to functional activities after surgery.2 This is due to the single radius design of the knee implant. Single radius means that as your knee flexes, the radius is the same, similar to a circle, requiring less effort from your quadriceps muscle.1,4,6
Because the thigh muscle (the quadriceps) is attached to your knee, it is unavoidably involved in the surgery. Therefore, the quadriceps muscle can become a source of discomfort or pain during your recovery period. The quadriceps muscle plays an important role in your ability to move your legs so it also has a major impact on your recovery and how quickly you can get back to living your life.2
Knee implants designed to last longer5
Several factors influence how long an implant will continue to perform. Stryker knees are designed to resist wear in many ways — they use advanced bearing surfaces; they’re balanced to help avoid excessive stress in any one spot; and, they’re sized to better fit your personal anatomy. X3 Advanced Bearing Technology has demonstrated up to 96% decrease in wear in laboratory testing compared to competitive premium bearing technologies.5
Are You Considering Knee Replacement Surgery?
Each patient is unique, but generally candidates for knee replacement surgery have:
- Pain severe enough to restrict not only work and recreation, but also the routine activities of daily living
- Pain that is not relieved by more conservative methods of treatment, such as reduced activity, medication or physical therapy
- Significant joint stiffness and loss of mobility
- X-rays that show advanced arthritis or other degenerative problems
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has concluded that knee replacement surgery is “a safe and cost-effective treatment for alleviating pain and restoring function in patients who do not respond to non-surgical therapies.”1 According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, knee replacement procedures have resulted in significant restoration of function and reduction of pain in about 90% of patients.2 As you read, make a note of anything you don’t understand. Your doctor will be happy to answer your questions so that you’ll feel comfortable and confident with your chosen treatment plan.
- National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference Statement: Total Knee Replacement 12/10/03.
- AAOS website, http://orthoinfo.aaos. org/topic.cfm?topic=A00385, accessed April 2011.
Knee Basics: What You Need to Know
Knee Anatomy and Function The knee is the largest joint in the body and is central to nearly every routine activity. The knee joint is formed by the ends of 3 bones: the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), the upper end of the shin bone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). Thick, tough tissue bands called ligaments connect the bones and stabilize the joint. A smooth, plastic like lining called cartilage covers the ends of the bones and prevents them from rubbing against each other, allowing for flexible and nearly frictionless movement. Cartilage also serves as a shock absorber, cushioning the bones from the forces between them. Finally, a soft tissue called synovium lines the joint and produces a lubricating fluid that reduces friction and wear.
Arthritis: The Leading Cause of Knee Pain One of the most common causes of knee pain and loss of mobility is the wearing away of the joint’s cartilage lining. When this happens, the bones rub against each other, causing significant pain and swelling — a condition known as osteoarthritis. Trauma or direct injury to the knee can also cause osteoarthritis. Without cartilage there is no shock absorption between the bones in the joint. This allows stress to build up in the bones and contributes to pain.
Knee Replacement Testimonials- Richmond, VA
The statements provided represent the experiences of the particular individuals making them and are not intended to be a recommendation, referral, or prescription for any device or procedure. Stryker Orthopaedics does not warrant that any of the statements are accurate, complete, or will apply to any particular individual’s circumstances. If you are thinking of joint replacement surgery, you should consult your own physician. Stryker Orthopaedics shall in no event be liable to you or anyone else for any decisions made or actions taken by you in reliance on any statement provided herein.
The life of any joint replacement will depend on your weight, age, activity level, and other factors. Individual results may vary. Only an Orthopaedic surgeon like Dr. Miller can decide if hip replacement surgery is right for you. Hip replacement surgery may be associated with serious complications including but not limited to component breakage, corrosion; wear or loosening; bone fracture or bone loss; infection; nerve damage; blood clots in the legs and/or lungs; and hip pain or stiffness. Complications may require medical intervention including additional surgery, and in rare cases, may lead to death. For more information, consult your doctor.
“There’s a point where your life just becomes miserable if you don’t get it replaced.”
“My dad was always a real outdoorsman just like his father was. So he raised my brother and me the same way, active in a lot of sports — fishing, cycling, camping. I was always pushing the edge, which took its toll on my knees over the years. The pain got so intense I couldn’t do any of the activities I’ve always thrived on — and for me that’s not living anymore. So, I did a lot of research. I interviewed several surgeons, looked at the different knee designs, and you know, I was quite impressed with the Stryker knee. I had the knee replacement, and the moment I woke up from surgery. I noticed that the arthritis pain I’d been suffering all these years was gone”
Dave Richards, 43
“I shouldn’t have waited … I feel 20 years younger.”
“I’m a nurse and I’m on my feet 10 hours a day. Fifteen years ago, I had arthroscopic surgery on my knee. Arthritis set in, the joint deteriorated, and the pain grew worse. Coming home to elevate and ice my leg was more important than sitting at dinner with my family. I felt like an old woman. My doctor recommended total knee replacement, but I was afraid. Then I heard about minimally invasive surgery, and I decided to go for it. I was amazed that everything went so fast. I had such a quick recovery. My therapist said I was too fast for a walker — the day after surgery! Nine days later, I walked into my doctor’s office without even a cane. Stryker total knee replacement has totally improved my quality of life.”
Christine Ricciardi, 57
“I would say my quality of life is now 200%, versus 25% before the surgery.”
“I’m a mother of five. Grandmother of two. I have an active life, which has gotten even better since I had my knee replacement. Before the surgery, my activity was very limited. I was in severe pain for a good two years before I came to the conclusion a total knee replacement was the only way to go. My bicycle riding came to an end, my bowling, even cleaning around the house and playing with the children or dancing with my grandchildren. But now, oh wow! The pain factor is gone. I’m looking younger, I’m feeling younger, and I’ve lost a total of 71 pounds because I’m much more mobile. I can scrub floors, I can climb a stepladder, I can bend and stoop, I can get in and out of the car. What can’t I do? This is a quality of life procedure. It’s gonna get you out of bed, keep you off the crutches, and out of the wheelchair.””Thank you for the great job you did on replacing both my knees…I am glad I had the operation. Thank you…for helping me get back to a normal life.”
“Just a note to thank you for the expert care you gave our Dad. You were a blessing to our family during his stay in Chippenham Hospital. I’ll never forget that.”
“Never a day goes by that I don’t think of you and the relief from pain you gave me.”
“Thank you for the great work you performed on my hip replacement surgery.”
Charisse Green, 42