The knee joint is the point at which the femur bone of the thigh meets the tibia bone of the lower leg. All the components of the knee - bones, cartilage, synovial membrane, ligaments, tendons and muscles - must work together properly for the knee to move smoothly.
Cartilage is a protective cushioning that keeps the bones from rubbing against one another.
In a healthy knee, a thin, smooth tissue liner called the synovial membrane releases a fluid that lubricates the knee, reducing friction as the bones move. In an arthritic knee, the cartilage between the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone) gets worn away, causing the two bones to scrape against each other. When this happens, the joint can become pitted, eroded and uneven, often resulting in pain, stiffness and instability. While this type of arthritis damage often happens throughout the entire joint, for some patients it can be localized in a single compartment of the knee. If the damage is localized to a single compartment, treatment with partial knee replacement may be an option.
Because partial knee implants only replace the damaged bone and cartilage of the medial, lateral or patellofemoral compartment of your knee, the rest your natural knee's structure is retained.
Individual results of joint replacement vary. Implants are intended to relieve knee pain and improve function, but may not produce the same feel or function as your original knee. There are potential risks with knee replacement surgery such as loosening, wear and infection that may result in the need for additional surgery. Patients should not perform high impact activities such as running and jumping unless their surgeon tells them that the bone has healed and these activities are acceptable. Early device failure, breakage or loosening may occur if a surgeon's limitations on activity level are not followed.
The information listed on this site is for informational and educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice. Every patient's case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor's specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation.