JAMA. 2011;305(8):844. /
KEYWORDS: KIDNEY FAILURE, KIDNEY TRANSPLANTATION, ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION.
More than 500 000 persons in the United States have knee replacements each year. The most common reason for knee replacement is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is destruction of the cartilage (supporting tissue between layers of a joint) and can occur at any joint in the body, but the knees are often the first site. Osteoarthritis causes pain, stiffness, limitation of motion, and swelling in the area of the joint that has arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis, destruction of joint cartilage by an immune process, affects joints differently. Persons with rheumatoid arthritis often have deformities in the joints, along with pain, swelling, stiffness, and problems in other areas of their bodies. Referral to an orthopedic surgeon and evaluation for knee replacement may be offered when other treatments for osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis fail. Orthopedic surgeons are doctors with specialized education in the diagnosis and treatment of bone and joint disorders.
TESTING BEFORE KNEE REPLACEMENT
TYPES OF KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY•
•Partial (unicompartmental) knee replacement involves only one side of the knee joint.
•Computer-assisted knee replacement relies on specialized digital technology to guide the procedure.
•Minimally invasive knee replacement uses smaller skin incisions.
COMPLICATIONS OF KNEE REPLACEMENT
•Poor pain relief may occur, despite good surgical results.
•Blood clots are a serious complication of joint replacement. Your surgeon will prescribe a blood thinner after the operation (and in some cases, before surgery) to reduce this risk. The use of pneumatic compression stockings and early ambulation (movement) also helps lessen the chance of blood clots.
•Prosthesis malfunction may require another procedure to fix or replace the parts.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
•American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
•National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Sources: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; Arthritis Foundation, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, World Health Organization