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When is Knee Replacement Surgery Recommended?

The knee replacement surgery is the process in which the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint is replaced with a metal implant to enhance mobility and function of the joint without any pain or discomfort. The knee replacement surgery is of 4 types:


  1. Total knee replacement

  2. Partial knee replacement

  3. Kneecap replacement

  4. Complex or revision knee replacement


Total knee replacement is the most commonly done type of knee replacement in which the entire knee is replaced including the surfaces of the thigh and shin bone that connects that knee. The new implant is either cemented or the bone surface facing the implant is altered in its texture or coated in a way that it forms a natural bone by promoting the bone growth.


Partial knee replacement, which is also known as unicondylar knee replacement involves a procedure in which only the affected part of the knee is replaced. In this case, the anterior and posterior ligaments are preserved. As a result, the hospital stay and the recovery period is shorter.


Kneecap replacement is also known as the patellofemoral replacement. In this procedure, the replacement is only limited to the patella of the knee and the groove in femur that rests in the patella. This is also done through smaller incisions, hence has a shorter recovery period.

kneecap replacement

Complex or revision knee replacement involves the replacement of an already placed knee implant, which has lost its functioning. This might happen due to bone loss or the development of scar tissue over time. This type of surgery is more complex in nature than a normal knee replacement.


Anatomical structure of the knee joint


The knee joint is one of the largest and the most complex joints of the body. It is connected with the thigh bone on one side and the shin bone on the other side. Another important bony structure is the kneecap, also known as Patella. All the bony structures are covered by articular cartilage that helps in smooth mobility of the joint. The joint is supported by following 3 ligaments:


  • Anterior cruciate ligament

  • Posterior cruciate ligament

  • The medial and lateral collateral ligaments


Other than this, there are numerous fluid-filled sacs known as bursae that help to move the knee smoothly.

Anatomy structure of knee

When is knee replacement surgery recommended?


There may be several knee conditions causing knee pain and dysfunction. Following are the signs and symptoms that indicate that a person would need replacement surgery:


  • An extreme form of pain and stiffness in the knee, creating a limitation for routine tasks such as standing, walking, using stairs and many more.

  • The patient may find the need to use a cane or any other aid.

  • Inflammation including redness and swelling around the knee that remain constant all the time.

  • Any knee deformity such as bowing in or out of the knee.

  • Failure of any other form of treatment like the cortisone injections, physical therapy, or any other anti-inflammatory drugs.


Some of the below medical conditions are usually responsible for the knee pain:


Rheumatoid Arthritis - Also known with the name of inflammatory arthritis, this is the most common form. The cells of the body start attacking their own cells, especially that of the joints. The exact cause is unknown to the doctors.


Osteoarthritis - This type of arthritis mostly affects the cartilage of the joint, which helps to protect the joint from any jerks. This is age-related in most of the cases so, commonly takes place in people above the age of 50. This is also called “wear and tear” arthritis.


Post-traumatic arthritis - Weakening of bones and easy ligament tearing can be caused usually after a serious injury. The signs and symptoms include frequent bone fractures and damage to the ligament. As a result, the articular cartilage may get damaged over time.


Patellar subluxation - This involves sliding of the kneecap along the thigh one while doing some physical activity. This causes knee pain surrounding the kneecap.


Patellar tendonitis - When the tendon that connects the kneecap to the shin bone gets inflamed, it is called Patellar Tendonitis. This is most common in sports persons.


Septic arthritis - This can be caused by any kind of bacterial, fungal or viral infection that ultimately affects the knee by causing inflammation and pain.


Baker’s cyst - There is a collection of fluid in the knee usually in the backside due to continuous effusion in the knee.


Knee replacement in India


Knee replacement is one of the most common procedures done in India. The nation has become a medical hub for several international patients who come to India to acquire the treatment at affordable costs. The hospitals are well-equipped with the latest types of equipment and infrastructure to perform surgeries with high precision. Most of these hospitals are accredited with NABH and JCI. The doctors have a vast experience of doing as many as 20,000 joint replacement surgeries and have also been known to receive several prestigious awards in the past.


Despite such a good quality of treatment, the knee replacement cost in India is quite affordable. The cost may vary depending upon a number of factors. These factors include the medical condition of the patient, complexity of the surgery and the type of knee replacement needed. The price is different for unilateral and bilateral knee replacement. Generally, the cost ranges from 4,000 USD to 13,000 USD.


Author Name
Dr. Kavreen Arora

Published Date
: 20-Feb-2019

Dr. Kavreen Arora

Dr. Kavreen studied medicine and actively practised for few years before she decided to share her knowledge through medical blogs and articles. Since then, Dr. Kavreen has written several articles about the recent advances in various medical treatments, life expectancies, and the best hospitals & doctors across the nation. 

She is a keen observer and likes to keep herself updated with the new technologies. She is an avid reader and an earnest writer in the medical field.

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