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What is a total knee replacement?

knee replacement xray

A total knee replacement is the surgical removal of the entire knee joint and replacement with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. Your knee joint is formed where your thigh bone (femur) and your shin bone (tibia) meet. It is the largest joint in your body and also contains ligaments, tendons, cartilage, the kneecap (patella), and lubricating fluid. Total knee replacement can help restore pain-free range of motion and full function in a diseased knee joint.

A total knee replacement is a common but major surgery with serious risks and potential complications. You may have less invasive treatment options. Consider getting a second opinion about all of your treatment choices before having a total knee replacement. 

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Sep 4, 2016

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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Medical References

  1. Arthroplasty. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/glossary.cfm
  2. Arthroplasty. Yale School of Medicine Patient Care. http://www.yalemedicalgroup.org/stw/Page.asp?PageID=STW028955
  3. Joint Replacement Surgery. Arthroscopy Association of North America. http://www.aana.org/EducationLibrary/Articles/JointReplacementSurgery/tabid/128/Default.aspx
  4. Joint Replacement Surgery: Information for Multicultural Communities. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Joint_Replacement/default.asp#7
  5. Joint Surgery. American College of Rheumatology. http://www.rheumatology.org/practice/clinical/patients/diseases_and_conditions/jointsurgery.pdf
  6. Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00405
  7. Pile, JC. Evaluating postoperative fever: A focused approach. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. 2006;73 (Suppl 1):S62. http://ccjm.org/content/73/Suppl_1/S62.full.pdf
  8. Preparing for Joint Replacement Surgery. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00220
  9. Surgical Approaches for Total Knee Replacement. RTH Orthopedics New England. http://www.keggiorthosurgery.com/Surgical_Approaches_For_Total_Knee.php
  10. Total Knee Replacement. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00389

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