Orthopedic surgeons at Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance are at the forefront of their field, using the latest techniques to make the surgery a highly effective treatment choice. Physicians lead orthopedic treatment teams of experienced health-care professionals, following a meticulous standard of care for patients undergoing knee surgery. Patients also play a critical role in how well they recover from surgery and get back into action.

About the knee

The knee represents a complex system of joint movement. Cartilage (a smooth lining), ligaments (stretchable connective tissue) and muscles help the two bones at the knee joint move over each other so the leg can be straightened and bent. As the smooth lining or other parts of the knee wear down or break, the joint becomes stiff and movement becomes painful.

Replacement facts

In a total knee replacement, a prosthesis (an artificial joint) replaces damaged cartilage and bone so patients can walk without pain. In situations where some of the knee joint surfaces are undamaged, a patient can opt to have a Partial knee replacement. Your orthopedic surgeon will provide you with information about what type of replacement surgery offers the best possible outcome for you.

Common reasons for replacement

In most cases, someone who requires knee replacement has some form of arthritis. Arthritis can cause the person to suffer pain, stiffness and limited knee function. Different types of arthritis can affect the joint including osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis (chronic joint inflammation) and traumatic arthritis (which can follow a severe injury to the knee).

Symptoms of arthritis may include:
  • Swelling in the joint
  • Stiffness, particularly in the morning
  • Inability to move a joint normally or walk a reasonable distance
  • Recurring pain or tenderness
  • Warmth and redness in the joint

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