If you’re considering knee replacement surgery, you’ll be in good company — over 600,000 are performed each year in the United States. Thanks to modern techniques and equipment, knee replacement surgeries are less invasive and have shorter recovery times than ever before. At L&W Orthopaedics, Dr. Diane S. Litke routinely performs knee replacement surgeries for her patients at Methodist Richarson Medical Center located in Richardson, Texas, getting them back on their feet in short order. To learn more about knee replacement, call or book an appointment online.

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What is the anatomy of the knee?

Your knee is the largest joint in your body, and it’s also one of the most complex. To better understand why you may need partial or full replacement of this joint, it helps to step back and take a look at the anatomy of your knee.

Your knee is made up the following:

  • Three bones — femur (thighbone), tibia (shinbone), and patella (kneecap)
  • Cartilage
  • Meniscus
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons
  • Muscle

Each of these components plays a crucial role in your knees’ ability to move forward and back and side to side, and to support your entire body.

When one of these components is compromised, it can have a far-reaching effect on the entire joint.

Why do I need a knee replacement?

Because your knee is responsible for such an incredible amount of movement and support, problems can easily crop up, whether from general wear and tear or an acute injury.

The main reason why most people seek either partial or total knee replacement stems from the effects of osteoarthritis. This degenerative condition wears down the cartilage in your knees, causing your bones to rub together, which leads to pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

What types of knee replacement surgeries are there?

Depending upon the extent of the damage in your knee, Dr. Litke performs one of two replacement surgeries:
Total knee replacement
During this procedure, Dr. Litke:

  • Removes the damaged bone and cartilage from the ends of your femur and tibia
  • Replace the removed bone and cartilage with metal implants
  • Resurfaces the patella
  • Inserts a spacer between the metal components

Partial knee replacement
If the damage in your knee is limited to a smaller area, Dr. Litke only resurfaces what’s necessary, not the whole joint. This procedure requires fewer incisions and less downtime.

How is the knee replacement performed?

Aside from her considerable experience as an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Litke is also equipped with new technology that assists her during the procedure. Called the Mako™ system, the robotic technology starts well before your surgery: using advanced imaging of your knee, the Mako software develops a detailed preoperative plan.

Armed with this blueprint, Dr. Litke is able to perform your knee replacement surgery with more precision and accuracy, making tweaks when necessary.

If your knees could use more support, call L&W Orthopaedics to learn more about knee replacement surgery, or use theonline booking tool to schedule a consultation.