Over the years, knee replacement techniques and instrumentation have undergone
Knee replacement is a surgical procedure -- performed in the U.S. since the 1960s -- in which a diseased or damaged joint is replaced with an artificial joint called a prosthesis. Made of metal alloys and high-grade plastics (to better match the function of bone and cartilage, respectively), the prosthesis is designed to move just like a healthy human joint. Today, knee replacement is one of the safest and most successful types of major surgery; in about 90% of cases it is complication-free and results in significant pain relief and restoration of mobility.1
1. AAOS website, http://orthoinfo.aaos. org/topic.cfm?topic=A00385, accessed April 2011.