Knee arthroplasty

Partial and complete knee prostheses

The implantation of knee prostheses using state-of-the-art technology is part of our routine work. The knee prostheses either replace the entirety of the joint or are inserted in a minimally invasive way in partial / unicompartmental prostheses.

One of our strengths is the implantation of individualised prostheses in the knee. For this purpose, prostheses and operating room tools are created individually by three-dimensional (3D) remodeling, customised for each patient’s needs.

Knee with grade 4 arthrosis pre-operation

What is a prosthetic knee?

A prosthetic knee is an artificial replacement for the knee joint. A knee prosthesis is usually made of stainless steel or titanium. It can also be made of other metals, such as Niobium and various alloys.

When might you need a prosthetic knee?

Knee prostheses are fitted when the knee joint is worn-out and painful and conservative therapies are no longer helpful. Another reason could be Ahlbäck’s disease (dying bone in the lower extremity of femur).

Typically, those needing a replacement knee will suffer aches when they start walking after resting periods. Late-stage cases suffer pain while resting too.

Types of knee prostheses

Depending on the type of anchoring, a distinction is made between cemented and partially
cemented knee prostheses.

The smallest form of artificial knee replacement is the partial prosthesis. They usually cover only the inner or outer part of the knee. A partial implant is used when the knee is worn-out on one side, most often on the inside (medial gonarthrosis).

Partial prosthesis (AP)

Partial prosthesis (LAT)

The other more comprehensive type of knee prosthesis is total resurfacing. This knee is carried out in cases of osteoarthritis, which has spread to the inner and outer joint space of the knee, possibly also behind the kneecap (Pangonarthrose).

Total knee prosthesis (AP)

Total knee prosthesis (LAT)

If there is too long delay for the surgery, in the case of advanced knee wear, the knee ligaments may become unstable, and implantation of the previous knee prostheses is no longer possible. In such cases, and as a revision implant in loosened knee prostheses, constrained knee implants are used. These are knee prostheses with long stems up and down and possibly a hinge.

Constrained knee prosthesis (revision) AP

Constrained knee prosthesis (revision) LAT

 

The surgical procedure

A knee prosthesis is implanted through a conventional or minimally-invasive incision at the front of the knee.

The tissue is severed and the bones of the joint are displayed. The bone is removed and usually first the thigh portion of the knee prosthesis is implanted. Thereafter, the tibial bone must be prepared for receiving the knee implant.

The personalised prosthesis parts – partly cemented and partly cementless – are inserted.

Finally, the area is closed back up gradually, the skin is sutured and a sterile wound dressing placed.

After care

In most cases after a knee prosthesis is inserted, it can bear weight immediately. However, this is not always the case and it depends on the bone quality.

Subsequent use of forearm crutches can help to reduce pain during the first few days following the operation. Supportive motor / moving rails can also be used in the first days after the operation (so-called CPM = continuous passive motion).

Dressings are changed and wounds drained approximately 2 days after surgery. The patient is discharged after approximately 5 to 7 days.

Depending on your job, you can resume work after about 6 to 8 weeks.