Total knee replacement surgery is a very effective treatment option for end-stage severe knee arthritis which is not suitable for a partial knee replacement. The main indication for total knee replacement is pain that is no longer effectively controlled by conservative measures and when less invasive surgical options are no longer deemed appropriate.
Surgery for total knee replacement involves removing small sections of bone and damaged cartilage from the end of the femur (thigh bone) and another section from the top of the tibia. The surfaces are then replaced by metal components using a special bone cement. A polyethylene bearing insert is placed between the metal components. The patella (kneecap) surface may be replaced with a plastic button.