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Cruciate Retaining Knee Implants in Seattle, WA

Woman attending to knee brace by beachTypically caused by injury and arthritis, knee pain is the most common reason a patient decides to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Commonly associated with athletic activities, such as skiing or tennis, knee injuries can be caused by any direct impact or movement beyond the knee’s normal range. Direct force on the knee can cause damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the medial collateral ligament (MCL), and the meniscus.

Two common forms of arthritis that affect the knee joint are Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis. Resulting in pain, stiffness, and a decrease in mobility, Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease where the protective cartilage of the knee wears away, causing the bones to rub against one another. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, which causes inflammation, damaging the protective cartilage in the knee.

Knee injuries and arthritis can be treated through both non-surgical (physical therapy and medication) and surgical methods. Based on the type and extent of damage to the knee, Dr. Pritchett will develop a treatment plan taking into consideration the individual patient’s goals, such as continued participation in athletic activities.

Anatomy of the Knee

A weight-bearing hinge joint, the knee is the largest joint in the body, and one of the most easily damaged. The core structure of the knee is composed of three main bones, the thighbone (femur), the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). During movement, the thighbone rotates on the top of the shinbone while the kneecap slides along grooves located at the bottom of the thighbone. Providing stability and strength, four ligaments surround the knee: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament (MCL), posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), and lateral collateral ligament (LCL). The posterior cruciate ligament is located at the back of the knee, and its function is to keep the knee from rolling backwards during bending. The meniscus, a soft cartilage disc located between the thighbone and shinbone, acts as a cushion when pressure is put on the knee joint during movement.

Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement, also known as knee resurfacing, is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures. For patients who have severe arthritis of the knee, a severe injury, or are unable to relieve pain symptoms with non-surgical treatments, Dr. Pritchett may recommend knee replacement surgery, in order to relieve pain and help patients return to normal daily or athletic activities.

Partial knee replacement is recommended for patients who only have damage to one section of the knee. During a partial knee replacement procedure, only the damaged area of knee is removed and replaced with a prosthesis.

For patients with damage to more than one area of the knee joint, Dr. Pritchett may recommend proceeding with a total knee replacement procedure. During the procedure, Dr. Pritchett will first remove the damaged cartilage and bone on both the thighbone and shinbone. The bottom of the thighbone and the top of the shinbone are then replaced with a metal and plastic prosthesis.

Cruciate Retaining Knee Implant Structure and Design

Prosthetic implants, also known as prostheses, are composed of metal and plastic, and are designed to recreate the natural pain free movement of the knee joint. Prosthetic implants for total knee replacement surgeries have up to three components. A rounded metal component with a groove on the front is placed on the bottom of the thighbone, allowing the kneecap to slide up and down easily during movement. A second metal and plastic component covers the top of the shinbone. This component may also have a metal stem that is inserted into the center of the shinbone to help increase the joint’s stability. For patients who also have damaged to areas of the kneecap, it will also be replaced by a plastic prosthesis.

The amount of damage to the knee’s components varies for each patient. If the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments are still healthy and strong, a cruciate retaining knee implant will be used. The cruciate retaining knee implant does not require the removal of either the anterior or posterior cruciate ligaments for attachment. Using a cruciate retaining knee implant during a total knee replacement procedure allows for less disruption to the surrounding areas during surgery, a more natural movement after surgery, and allows patients to maintain the full stability of the joint after surgery.

Cruciate Retaining Knee Implants in Seattle, WA

James W. Pritchett, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in partial and total knee replacement. Dr. Pritchett provides treatment to patients in the Seattle, Washington area including the cities of Kirkland, Issaquah, Redmond, and Bellevue. To learn more about knee replacement and other knee pain treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Pritchett at his office, (206) 323-1900.

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Last Modified: April 20, 2018