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The knee is one of the most complex and one of the most important joints in your body. Let's take a look at the way the knee joint works.
The knee is made up of four bones. The femur, which is the large bone in your thigh attaches by ligaments to your tibia.
Just below and next to the tibia is the fibula, which runs parallel to the tibia.
The patella, or what we call the knee cap, rides on the knee joint as the knee bends. When the knee becomes diseased due to arthritis or other injury the bones rub together causing pain and can even restricting the ability to walk.
No matter what the cause, one of the most effective ways to fix a damaged knee is to replace it surgically. In this procedure, the ends of the femur, tibia and patella are replaced with a metal joint which restores freedom of movement.
The knee is made up of bone, ligament and cartilage. Damage to any individual part can dramatically restrict the normal movement of the leg and can even interfere with the ability to walk.Let's take a look at the way the knee joint is put together.
The femur, or thigh bone, meets the fibula and tibia to create a flexible joint called the knee. Helping to stabilize the knee are the ligaments.
The ligaments in the knee are strong, flexible cords of tissue that hold the bones together. They maintain stability and allow the normal range of motion when you walk or run. The anterior cruciate ligament - or ACL -- guides the tibia, or shin bone. It helps keep your feet below your knees and your legs from buckling as you walk.
Twisting or bending the knee during sports or other strenuous activity can damage the ligament.
During an injury, patients often report feeling or even hearing a sudden "pop" in their knee at the exact moment when the ligament tears.
Other symptoms include swelling, restricted movement, pain and even the inability to stand on the affected leg.
Hip replacement surgery rarely leads to complications. It is possible that one or both of the artificial components could come loose, requiring another operation. Muscle, nerve or bone damage is also possible although very unlikely.
Another possible complication is a persistent residual neuralgia -- or pain -- around the scar. It can be either localized or general. It may develop soon after surgery -- or even weeks or months later.
In rare cases, the surgery does not restore full mobility or stability to your hip and thigh.
Once you return home, you will be responsible to keeping the dressing intact and clean. As with all surgery, you should be alert for signs of infection near the incision - increased swelling, redness, bleeding or other discharge. Your doctor may advise you to be on the alert for other symptoms as well. If you experience any unusual symptoms, report them to your doctor right away.
You may also notice some bruising in the general area of the incision. The discoloration may be extensive - but as with any bruise, it should heal on it's own.
Before you leave, you'll be given discharge guidelines which may include diet, medication, work and other activity restrictions.