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What Is A Patellofemoral Replacement?
A patellofemoral replacement, also known as a patellofemoral joint replacement or patellofemoral arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure performed to replace the patellofemoral joint in the knee. The patellofemoral joint is the joint between the kneecap (patella) and the groove at the end of the thigh bone (femur).
The procedure is typically recommended for individuals who have isolated patellofemoral arthritis, which is degeneration or damage specifically in the patellofemoral joint, however the procedure can also benefit people suffering from other knee issues, such as Chondromalacia Patella. Patellofemoral arthritis can cause pain, stiffness, and difficulty with knee movements, particularly during activities that involve bending and straightening the knee.
During a patellofemoral replacement, the surgeon removes the damaged portions of the patella and femur and replaces them with artificial components made of metal and/or plastic. The new components are designed to recreate the smooth joint surface and improve the alignment and function of the patellofemoral joint.
Here are some key points about patellofemoral replacement:
- Indications: Patellofemoral replacement is typically considered when conservative treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, and activity modifications, have failed to provide adequate relief for patellofemoral arthritis. It is generally reserved for individuals who have primarily isolated patellofemoral joint involvement, as it does not address arthritis in other compartments of the knee.
- Surgical Procedure: The surgery is performed under general anesthesia or regional anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the front of the knee and removes the damaged portions of the patella and femur. The artificial components are then securely attached to the remaining bone using cement or specialized fixation methods. The procedure can be performed as a partial replacement, where only the patella or a portion of the femur is replaced, or as a total replacement, where both components are replaced.
- Rehabilitation: After patellofemoral replacement, a comprehensive rehabilitation program is necessary to optimize outcomes and promote recovery. Physical therapy is typically initiated soon after surgery to improve range of motion, strength, and stability of the knee joint. The specific rehabilitation protocol may vary depending on the individual’s condition and the surgeon’s recommendations.
- Outcomes: Patellofemoral replacement aims to relieve pain, improve knee function, and restore mobility. It may allow individuals to engage in activities with reduced discomfort and increased range of motion. However, like other joint replacement surgeries, the longevity and success of the implant can vary, and factors such as activity level, body weight, and overall joint health can influence outcomes.
It’s important to note that patellofemoral replacement is a specialized procedure that should be performed by an orthopedic surgeon experienced in knee joint replacements. If you are considering patellofemoral replacement, it is essential to consult with a qualified surgeon who can evaluate your condition, discuss the benefits and risks, and provide personalized recommendations based on your individual circumstances.