A knee replacement (also called knee arthroplasty) involves a replacement of only the surface of the bones. The four steps to a knee replacement include:
- Prepare the bone. Damaged cartilage surfaces are removed.
- Position the implants. The removed cartilage is replaced with components that recreate the surface of the joint.
- Resurface the patella. The undersurface of the patella (kneecap) is resurfaced with a plastic button.
- Insert a spacer. A medical-grade plastic spacer is inserted between the components to create a smooth gliding surface.
- Image: Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014”. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762.