Your knee is essential for allowing you to freely walk around, but there are many types of damage that can prevent your knee from working correctly. When you are unfortunate enough to develop this type of issue, it can lower your quality of life by making you dependent on others for getting around. Luckily, knee replacement surgeries have emerged as a common way of addressing these sources of damage, but many patients are uninformed about this type of surgery which may lead them to need some basic questions answered.
Myth: Athletes Are The Only Ones That May Need Replacement Knees
A common misconception about knee replacement surgery is that it is generally only needed by athletically active people. While it is true that most sports are hard on the knees, there are many other causes for needing this type of medical procedure. For example, arthritis is a common problem that impacts people as they grow older, and this can result in a severe deterioration of the cartilage in the knee. When this protective material starts to break down, the bones in this joint can start grinding together which can cause immense pain.
However, there are just a couple of examples why someone would need this type of procedure performed, and there are many other instances where this type of surgery is a viable option. Yet, each patient is different, and your doctor will be the only way that can determine whether this extensive procedure is needed for your injury.
Myth: The Entire Knee Joint Is Replaced During This Surgery
Another belief that is shared by many potential knee replacement patients is that the entire knee is removed and replaced during this type of surgery. However, this would require removing many of the larger bones in the legs, but luckily, this is not how this procedure is performed.
Rather than removing the entire knee, the doctor will simply remove the kneecap. The kneecap helps hold the cartilage, ligaments and tendons in the knee together. Most instances of knee replacement are needed when these materials start to detach from the kneecap, and by replacing the cap and reaching these materials, your doctor will be able to eliminate much of the pain that you feel and restore most of your range of movement.
Having a knee replaced can be an intimidating procedure to go through, but much of this stress that is caused by this type of care results from patients being ill-informed about this routine procedure. Understanding that anyone can need this surgery at some point during their lives and that the entire knee is not replaced will make you a more informed patient when it comes time to consider your treatment options for your knee injury. Talk to a doctor, such as Joseph P. Spott, DO, for more information.