The Knee Joint Replacement Surgery
The knee joint is a crucial hinge joint in the human body that greatly aids any form of movement involving the legs or lower limbs. The knee joint connects the thigh bone (medically known as the femur) and the shin bone (which is also medically known as the tibia). The knee cap or the patella forms a flexible protective cap like covering over the two bones and the ligaments and tendons that connect them. There is also a white smooth substance that envelops the surface of the joint known as the articular cartilage. This articular cartilage covers the knee and softens all movements and jerks and reduces friction. It is spread over the joint in varying thicknesses in various parts – from 1/4th an inch in some parts such as the patella to 1/8th and the thigh bone (femur).
This condition is caused by wear and tear of the cartilage of the knee joint. It restricts movement considerably and causes pain due to friction. Usually occurs in the joints due to the onset of old age unless there is a pre condition such as past knee joint damage even of the tendons and ligaments in the region. It does not affect any other internal organs.
Rheumatoid arthritis involves an inflammation of the delicate lining known as the synovium and the drying up of the synovial fluid that lubricates the movement of the knee joint. This inflammation can also spread to the ligaments, tendons and muscles in the area while also causing damage to other internal organs.
There are 2 c shaped pieces of cartilage in the knee joint that are not attached to any other part of the structure but serve as very effective shock absorbers in the movement of the body. Due to the role they play in the body they are subject to a considerable degree of damage and are prone to injuries especially due to sudden jerks and athletics or sports. Injury occurs when these pieces of cartilage are squeezed between the shin bone and the thigh bone and gets pinched.
The knee contains three ligaments – the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), the Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL) and the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). These three ligaments provide a considerable degree of support and stability to the knee and when damaged the knee finds it difficult to function without causing a certain degree of pain to the body. The most common symptom of an injured, torn or ruptured ligament is severe swelling that can vary in degrees based on the extent of the damage done. The pain is most felt on the sides of the knees and is more acute during any physical activity and less accentuated when the body is at rest. Sports injuries are the most common cause of such damage.