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A knee replacement is a surgery performed on damaged and arthritic knees that restores function using a prosthetic device inserted into bone after the knee itself is removed. The knee is a hinge joint that requires bending in just one direction. You should try medications and exercise first before going on to having knee replacement surgery. You should also try walking supports like canes or walkers to make sure you can get around before having surgery. If you would like advice at no cost just use the helpline or complete the contact form and a knee replacement solicitor will telephone you with no charge and no obligation.

The knee is the biggest joint in the human body. It is made up from the patella, the tibia, the fibula and the femur. The fibula is just a stabilizing bone and does not actually participate in the joint itself. The knee joint is stabilized also by strong muscles around the joint, such as the quadriceps muscles and ligaments within and on either side of the joint. There is a significant amount of cartilage in the joint that makes the functioning of the joint smooth and easy. The synovial membrane lines the joint and contains synovial fluid that makes the joint movement fluid. Because of the synovial fluid, the friction about the knee is practically zero. You can get pain in the knee from damage to the articular cartilage, bone spurs that grow on the bone and a torn meniscus.

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and trauma to the knee are the main causes of knee pain and knee replacement. Osteoarthritis is common in those after the age of 50 years and a family history is common. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that damages the synovial membrane of the joint space. There can be chronic inflammation and damaged cartilage as well. In traumatic arthritis, an injury can do just about any kind of damage to the joint, including a fracture that includes the joint. Knee replacement is recommended in such a situation.

You know you are a candidate for knee replacement surgery if you have severe pain that is limiting your daily activity, if you have pain at rest from arthritis, if you have chronic knee inflammation, if you have a deformity of the knee, if you have knee stiffness from arthritis or cannot tolerate non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. If pain medications are giving you complications, you may need a knee replacement. If all other modalities for treatment, such as physical therapy and cortisone injections, do not help your pain, you might need to have a knee replacement.

Most people who have a knee replacement are between 60 and 80 years of age but total knee replacements have been done on all ages of people. Your doctor will do a complete history and physical examination to see if you are a candidate for surgery. X-rays or a CT scan or MRI scan can be done of the knee to see if knee replacement is warranted. Doctors can also do an arthroscopy using an endoscope to see what's going on inside the joint. The orthopedic surgeon will look at all the information available after the exam and tests have been done and will tell you what you need to have done to fix your knees, including knee replacement surgery.

.Ninety percent or more of individuals who have had knee replacement surgery will have substantial reduction in pain and an improvement in the ability of the knee to function in walking and bending. You won't turn into a great athlete after surgery but your knee will be functional. You won't be able to do more with your knee than you could before the knee became damaged. After surgery, you need to avoid jogging and high impact sports, probably forever. Knee replacements should be able to last for many years, although some knee replacement manufacturers have a higher than acceptable rate of failure. If this is the case, and your knee fails, speak to a lawyer about what your rights are.

When you prepare for your knee replacement surgery, you should have a complete history and physical examination. You will need blood and urine tests which can help the doctor know you are healthy at the time of the surgery. You should be free of skin infections at the time of surgery and you should get rid of any swelling of your lower leg using stockings that get rid of fluid retention. You should donate your own blood prior to surgery to make sure you have blood available to you should you need it. You should stop taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications so you don't bleed excessively at the time of surgery.

A dental evaluation may be necessary before the surgery so that bacteria don't enter the bloodstream at the time of surgery and cause a joint infection. The same is true of having a urological evaluation so that bacteria don't enter the bloodstream from the urinary tract. You will need to learn how to walk with a walker or crutches after the surgery so you might need to practice this before you actually need it. Advance arrangements need to be made so that someone can help you get around and do activities necessary to get by once you are at home.

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Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our medical negligence solicitors will maximise your personal injury compensation claim using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you don�t win then you don�t pay them their professional costs. If you believe that your knee replacement surgery was carried out negligently then just complete the contact form or email our solicitors offices or use the helpline and a knee replacement solicitor will telephone you at no cost and with no obligation.

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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here