Knee Cap Replacement Information

Knee Cap Replacement is a type of partial knee replacement surgery in which only patellofemoral articulation is replaced with implants.

To understand this surgical procedure we have to understand knee anatomy first.

If you see lower end of femur it has a groove for patella called patellofemoral groove. This is the place where patella or knee cap glides over femur smoothly.

In many of knee pain cases when knee pain diagnosis is done, patient come to know that they have knee cap arthritis or patelloemoral arthritis.
In this case under-surface of patella has arthritic changes and when it glides on patellofemoral groove it causes arthritic knee pain under knee cap.

When it is severe enough to hamper day to day life patient has to think about operation.

pain under knee cap
knee cap injuries

Commonest symptoms for Kneecap arthritis:

  • pain on kneeling
  • climbing or lowering stairs
  • walking on slope
  • getting up from low chair
  • Pain on terminal extension
  • Bending knee can be painful as well

Strangely normal walking can be uneventful.

Thorough knee pain diagnosis should be done to rule out any other knee injuries.

Knee Cap Replacement procedure

In this surgical procedure 2 implants are fixed in patello femoral joint.

  • Patello femoral groove part is removed and replaced by metal implant.
  • Under surface of knee cap is replaced by plastic implant.

So whole knee anatomy remains intact only patellofemoral joint surface is replaced.
Whole procedure last for 45 to 60 minutes.

It is done under general anesthesia.
Hospital stay is of around 3-4 days depending on your doctor.

Do you need Knee cap replacement?

Typically any major surgical intervention is last resort for doctors .
Usually doctors try to treat knee cap injuries and knee cap pain with traditional non surgical treatments like:

  • Medications
  • Knee Injections
  • Therapy
  • Arthroscopy knee surgery
  • If nothing works out then they take this approach.

What happens after kneecap replacement?

  • As with any kind of orthopedic surgeries indoor rehabilitation in hospital begins on very next day.
  • You start walking and bending your knee under guidance of therapist and will be climbing stairs by the 3rd day.
  • Once patient start doing all these activities with relative ease they are discharged by day 4-5.
  • Home exercise plan is given and home based therapy may be recommended to facilitate your knee replacement recovery.
  • Typical knee replacement recovery time would vary from patient to patient but usually lesser then total knee replacement surgery.

This surgery is not done frequently since its limited client base.
When I say limited client base I mean patients older then 50 years but not too old.
More over reason its done in younger individual because later down the life if knee cap implant wears out then they can go for total knee replacement surgery.
Typical life span of knee cap replacement is around 10 years in 85-90% of cases.

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