How Does Your Knee Work?

The knee is the largest joint in the body and is made up of the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), which rotates on the upper end of the shin bone (tibia), and the knee cap (patella), which slides in a groove on the end of the femur.

The joint surfaces where these three bones touch are covered with articular cartilage, a smooth substance that cushions the bones and enables them to move easily.

All remaining surfaces of the knee are covered by a thin, smooth tissue liner that releases a special fluid to lubricate the knee. This eliminates friction almost completely in a healthy knee.

Normally, all of these components work in harmony. But disease or injury can disrupt this harmony, resulting in pain, muscle weakness and increased friction.

Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a condition that causes wear and tear to your joint cartilage. It develops after years of constant motion and pressure in the joints. As the cartilage continues to wear away, the joint becomes increasingly painful and difficult to move. If conservative treatment options, such as medication, physical therapy or lifestyle changes like losing weight, fail to provide relief, your surgeon may recommend a total knee replacement.

What Is A Knee Replacement?

The word “replacement” gives the impression that your surgeon is removing the entire knee.

However, your surgeon will only resurface the damaged bone and cartilage of your joint. During surgery, the joint is exposed by an incision made down the center or off to the side of the knee.

Frequently Asked Questions

In order to minimize risks, your surgeon may have you see your family physician before surgery to obtain tests. You also may need to have any upcoming dental work completed or prepare your home to avoid any post-surgery falls.

There are implants that have been documented to last 15-20 years. However, there are numerous factors that affect the longevity of a total joint replacement including patient indications (age, weight and activity level), implant design and materials used during surgery.

Just like your natural joint, the components of an artificial implant are subject to wear over time from friction caused by bending, straightening and supporting your body weight.

Therapy may begin the same day as your surgery and may continue up to four to six months post-op. Exercise is crucial for proper rehabilitation to promote blood flow, strengthen muscles and regain motion. Proper rehabilitation and willingness to follow all of your surgeon’s recommendations will contribute to a more successful recovery after surgery.

Most patients are able to resume everyday activities like climbing stairs and possibly driving three to four weeks post-op depending on your surgeon and your condition. This includes waist-level activities like writing for shoulder replacement patients. Activities such as golf, doubles tennis and swimming can usually be resumed, but only after a thorough evaluation by your surgeon. Recovery time will vary for each patient.

High-impact activities or contact sports are typically not recommended. These types of activities place an extreme amount of pressure on the joints, which could lead to complications.

Joint replacement surgery is a major operation and although it is extremely successful in most cases, some patients may experience complications, including but not limited to: infection, blood clots, implant breakage, malalignment and premature wear. Any of these can require additional surgery.

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Utilizing Smith & Nephew’s Navio System

Navio partial knee resurfacing is minimally invasive and performed by the surgeon controlling a hand held robotic controlled smart instrumentation. The use of this advanced technology enables more accurate resurfacing of the individual patient’s diseased knee for optimal positioning of implants and tissue balancing.

  • Only targets diseased portion of the knee

  • A simple X-Ray can determine whether or not you are a candidate for this procedure. No CT Scan is required!

  • Optimal implant positioning and alignment

  • Less than 52,000 partial knee

  • Less invasive than a total knee replacement

Benefits of This New Technology

  • Navio is a minimally invasive procedure that results in shorter hospital stays

  • Patients experience minimal blood loss

  • Quicker Rehabilitation

  • Allows surgeon to accurately place implants

  • Less invasive than a total knee replacement

  • Minimal Scarring

  • Patients are able to return to an active lifestyle within weeks of the procedure

  • Robotic Assistance provides ultimate precision

  • Allows surgeon to customize planning for each patient

How does Navio achieve these Results?

The process starts by focusing on the patient and planning a procedure with your anatomy in mind. Rather than a time and radiation-intensive CT scan, the Navio approach involves only a simple x-ray before the surgeon uses advanced Navio planning software to tailor the surgery to your anatomy, align the implant and balance your knee.