Arthritis in the Knee
What are the types and causes of arthritis in the knee?
* Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease - The most common type of Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as “wear and tear arthritis” since the cartilage simply wears out. When cartilage wears away, bone rubs on bone causing severe pain and disability. The most frequent reason for osteoarthritis is genetic, since the durability of each individual's cartilage is based on genetics.
* Trauma - Can also lead to osteoarthritis. A bad fall or blow to the knee can injure the joint. If the injury does not heal properly, extra force may be placed on the joint, which over time can cause the cartilage to wear away.
* Inflammatory Arthritis - Swelling and heat (inflammation) of the joint lining causes a release of enzymes which soften and eventually destroy the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory in nature.
Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted into a joint. Arthroscopy is a term that comes from two Greek words, arthro-, meaning joint, and -skopein, meaning to examine.
The benefits of arthroscopy involve smaller incisions, faster healing, a more rapid recovery, and less scarring. Arthroscopic surgical procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to return home on the same day.
Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
A total knee replacement (TKR) or total knee arthroplasty is a surgery that resurfaces an arthritic knee joint with an artificial metal or plastic replacement parts called the ‘prostheses'.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament ACL Reconstruction
The anterior cruciate ligament is one of the major stabilizing ligaments in the knee. It is a strong rope like structure located in the centre of the knee running from the femur to the tibia. When this ligament tears unfortunately it doesn't heal and often leads to the feeling of instability in the knee.
ACL reconstruction is a commonly performed surgical procedure and with recent advances in arthroscopic surgery can now be performed with minimal incisions and low complication rates.
Uni Condylar Knee Replacement
This simply means that only a part of the knee joint is replaced through a smaller incision than would normally be used for a total knee replacement. The knee joint is made up of 3 compartments, the patellofemoral and medial and lateral compartments between the femur and tibia (i.e. the long bones of the leg). Often only one of these compartments wears out, usually the medial one. If you have symptoms and X-ray findings suggestive of this then you may be suitable for this procedure.
Revision Knee Replacement
This means that part or all of your previous knee replacement needs to be revised. This operation varies from very minor adjustments to massive operations replacing significant amounts of bone and hence is difficult to describe in full.
Below are some useful links from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
Broken Bones and Injury
Tears and Instability
Diseases and Syndromes
Treatment and Rehabilitation
Anesthesia for Hip and Knee Replacement Surgery
Arthroscopy and Reconstruction