Total knee replacement is one of the most common joint replacement procedure, total knee replacement is a procedure that is recommended if non-operative treatments have not diminished arthritic symptoms in the joint. It should be considered when knee pain cannot be decreased and affects a patient when performing simple actions such as sitting down. At this point, a patient should consult an experienced doctor like Dr. Louis to discuss a possible knee replacement procedure.
As with all treatment options, the goal of a total knee replacement is to return the patient to their day-to-day functions without the interruption of knee pain. During the procedure, Dr. Louis typically makes an eight-to ten-inch incision in front of the knee and removes the damaged part of the joint. Next, the bone surfaces are reshaped to properly hold the artificial joint. Last, the surgeon replaces the damaged cartilage and bone with an implant to restore the alignment and function of the knee.
This prosthetic is made up of three pieces: the femoral component, the tibial component and the patellar component.
The femoral and tibial components are made up of metal and are separated by a plastic insert.
Dr. Louis uses cement to attach the implants to the thighbone, knee cap, and shin. (Once the artificial joint is attached, the surrounding muscles and ligaments support the joint.
Patients with degenerative knee conditions can benefit from custom-designed cutting equipment that is tailored to an individual’s unique body mechanics, size and gender variations. Dr. Louis is among the first in Chicago to offer custom-designed total knee replacement cutting equipment. With this new technology he can precisely match the size and placement of the implant to the patient’s unique and normal (non-arthritic) knee anatomy. This custom-designed approach enables surgeons to obtain a better implant fit and alignment.
Prior to surgery, a CT scan is performed to take very precise measurements of the patient’s arthritic knee. Then, computer software creates a 3-D image of that knee, and virtually corrects the deformity to return the knee to its pre-arthritic state. A computerized 3-D image of the implant will then be used to anatomically correct the virtual knee model. This helps determine the correct implant size and placement, based on the patient’s normal knee anatomy. Last, using all of this information, special cutting guides are created for the surgeon to use during the procedure. These patient-specific cutting guides, which are accurate to within a few millimeters, indicate to the surgeon exactly where to make bone cuts so that the knee replacement is customized for each individual patient.