Anatomy of the Knee

Understanding knee replacement surgery

The knee is a very hard working hinge-like joint which provides stability and strength when standing, walking, crouching and turning. It has several interactive parts which can break down due to wear and tear or because of injury or disease. Knee replacement surgeons restore function to the knee by resurfacing damaged parts of the knee and replacing damaged cartilage.

This procedure is much in demand in America with over 600,000 knee replacement surgeries done each year. People from New Jersey to California are enjoying new mobility as a result of this life changing surgery. The age range of patients receiving this surgery is between 50 and 80 with half of these patients being under 65. By the year 2030 knee it is estimated that more than 3 million knee replacement surgeries will be done.

Knee specialist Dr. Nitin Goyal, is frequently asked to answer questions about basic knee anatomy as his patients are preparing for knee replacement surgery. He believes patient education is a key component to successful outcomes. To assist his patients he has compiled a brief overview of the knee and some of the conditions that are treated with this procedure.

The parts of the knee

The knee is a joint that joins the lower end of the thighbone to the upper part of the shinbone. The kneecap is part of the overall structure which also includes two C shaped pads of tissue which act as shock absorbers. They cushion the weight of the upper part of the body and stabilize the knee.

The bones are protected from friction by a tough layer of cartilage coating the ends of the bone that meet at the joint. This cartilage is very smooth and allows the joint to move easily without pain.

Holding the structure together is a system of ligaments, tendons and muscles that work together to provide stability and leverage for motions of walking bending running and jumping. A thin membrane covers the joint complex which releases a lubricating fluid over the cartilage. This eliminates almost all friction when the joint moves as long as the joint stays healthy.

Knee replacement surgery

Dr. Goyal has earned a reputation for handling difficult knee surgeries and so has attracted patients from as far as New Jersey, NYC and the surrounding areas. Whether his patients need a full or partial knee replacement depends on the extent of the damage but in all cases the goal is to restore the patient back to pain free motion or to get as close as medically possible.

Arthritis and injury are at the root of most knee problems

There are several reasons for needing knee replacement surgery. The most common reason is simple wear and tear on the knee joint because of aging known as Osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative joint disease that affects older adults because the joint cartilage and bone eventually breaks down making movement painful.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease which attacks the joints causing inflammation in the membrane that produces moisture in the joint. The increased moisture causes swelling and stiffness and is often treated through knee replacement surgery.

Other risk factors for knee replacement surgery are obesity, being female and having a job that puts increased stress on the knee joint. Jobs that require frequent kneeling and bending can wear out the cartilage and cause the bone to degenerate.

Injuries caused by sports activities, car and motorcycle accidents and falls can damage the joint. If physical therapy and anti inflammatory medication fail to restore mobility to an injured knee joint, knee surgery will likely be required.

Restoring movement

Having knee replacement surgery for millions of Americans restores quality of life and in some cases, the ability to earn a living. Knee replacement surgeons are dedicated to getting their patients mobile as quickly as possible using the latest surgical techniques combined with the space age materials now available for knee replacement.

Dr. Goyal is a knee specialist with years of experience completely focused on knee and hip replacement surgery. Scheduling a consultation with Dr. Goyal is the best way to determine how to get your knee functioning again. Whether you live in Washington DC or North Virginia or anywhere in the area, a visit with Dr. Goyal will soon convince you that you have found one of the most dedicated orthopedic knee surgeons in America.

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