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Knee replacement surgery has become more common in recent years. Millions of people have taken advantage of advancing medical science concerning knee joints and joint replacement. Replacing the natural knee is called primary joint replacement. As more people live longer, they may need the new joint replaced as well. This is called revision arthroplasty.
Primary joint knee replacement surgery is usually required when the knee joint cartilage gets worn down. The cartilage that cushions the bones and prevents the thighbone and the shinbone from rubbing against each other, causing severe pain, wears down naturally over time. For longtime athletes, this process may be accelerated. Normally, a knee replacement joint lasts for years, but there could be complications that require revision arthroplasty. Some common reasons for revision arthroplasty are: mechanical loosening, infection in the joint, fracture of the bone around the joint, instability of the implant, wearing of one or more parts of the implant, or breakage of the implant. Over enough time, the replacement joint usually becomes loose naturally. The younger the patient is when he or she gets primary joint replacement the more likely the replacement joint will become loose and require revision. Infection because of knee replacement surgery is a rare occurrence, but it can be the cause of some discomfort in the knee after replacement surgery, such as stiffness and undue pain. Although this can usually be remedied by antibiotics and a new knee replacement, infection can turn into a serious problem if left untreated. For active people who have to have their knee replaced at a relatively young age, the replacement knee sometimes loosens or breaks due to heavy usage. In those cases, revision arthroplasty may be the best option.
After knee replacement surgery, physical therapy can last six to eight weeks. Patients can expect to be able to walk without an aid two months after the surgery.