Knee replacement surgery

Normal knee joint Inside a normal knee joint, thick cushioning (cartilage) covers and protects the ends of your bones. This is called hyaline cartilage. Another type of cartilage, called meniscal cartilage or meniscus, acts like a shock absorber between the bones and keeps the knee joint stable by spreading out the load…

Knee replacement surgery

Normal knee joint

Normal knee joint
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slide 1 of 6, Normal knee joint,

Inside a normal knee joint, thick cushioning (cartilage) covers and protects the ends of your bones. This is called hyaline cartilage. Another type of cartilage, called meniscal cartilage or meniscus, acts like a shock absorber between the bones and keeps the knee joint stable by spreading out the load evenly across the joint. The two menisci (plural of meniscus) protect and cushion the surface of the joint and the ends of your bones.

Osteoarthritis of the knee

Knee joint with osteoarthritis
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slide 2 of 6, Osteoarthritis of the knee,

In osteoarthritis, the cartilage that protects and cushions the knee joint breaks down over time. As the cartilage wears down, the bone surfaces rub against each other. This damages the tissue and bone, causing pain. Osteoarthritis is common in the knee joints.

Femoral component is placed

Knee replacement surgery: Femoral component
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slide 3 of 6, Femoral component is placed,

Removal of damaged cartilage from the lower end of the femur and placement of the femoral component

Tibial component is placed

Knee replacement surgery: Tibial component
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slide 4 of 6, Tibial component is placed,

Removal of damaged cartilage from the upper end of the tibia and placement of the tibial component

Patellar component is placed

Knee replacement surgery: Patellar component
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slide 5 of 6, Patellar component is placed,

Removal of damaged cartilage from the patella and placement of the patellar component

Knee replacement surgery is complete

Completed knee replacement surgery
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slide 6 of 6, Knee replacement surgery is complete,

Completed knee replacement

Current as ofJune 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Kenneth J. Koval MD - Orthopedic Surgery, Orthopedic Trauma
Davide Bardana MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine

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Knee Replacement Surgery

Learn what to expect during knee replacement surgery and how it can ease the pain of arthritis.

Knee Replacement Surgery

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions. Image is used for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted is a model.