Total Knee Replacement
A Total Knee Replacement, or TKR in short, replaces all three compartments in the knee.
A TKR removes the damaged joint surfaces and replaces them with metal and plastic implants, allowing a person to walk again without pain.
The picture above shows the right knee, as seen from the front. The compartments of the knee are:
1) Medial (on the inside of the knee)
2) Lateral (on the outside of the knee)
3) Patello-femoral (at the front of the knee)
Both Knee Total Knee Replacements (TKR)
Modern-day TKRs were developed in the 1960's. However, this surgery was first done way back in the 1860's, when German surgeon Themistocles Gluck surgically implanted the first primitive knee hinge joint.
Improvements in design occurred throughout the 1970's and 80's. Computer navigation TKR was first introduced in 1997, and robotic-assisted TKR first started in 2006.
Today, TKR is a standard surgical treatment for persistent knee pain due to arthritis. It can be done in a variety of ways, including conventional, Minimally-Invasive Surgery (MIS), Computer-Assisted Surgery (CAS), or Robotic-assisted.
Risks of this treatment are generally considered low and are acceptable to the vast majority of patients, given the benefits that the treatment brings. A general list of potential but unlikely risks are: infection, blood clots in the leg (DVT), anaesthetic risks, numbness of the skin around the knee, technical risks, and fracture of the bone around the implants.
The success rate of this surgery is accepted at 90% - 95% at removing pre-operative pain and allowing a person to return to walking and activity.