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There are two collateral ligaments on the outside of the knee joint that connect the femur to the tibia and fibula respectively.These ligaments help to control the stresses of side-to-side movements on the knee.The length and complexity of a total knee replacement operation depend in part on whether both knee joints are replaced during the operation or only one.Such disorders as osteoarthritis usually affect both knees, and some patients would rather not undergo surgery twice.
One reason for this trend is improvements in surgical technique, as well as the design and construction of knee prostheses since the first knee replacement was performed in 1968.Knee replacement is a procedure in which the surgeon removes damaged or diseased parts of the patient's knee joint and replaces them with new artificial parts. Arthroplasty comes from two Greek words, arthros or joint and plassein , "to form or shape." The artificial joint itself is called a prosthesis.Most knee prostheses have four components or parts, and are made of a combination of metal and plastic, or metal and ceramic in some newer models.Total knee replacement, or TKR, is considered major surgery.Therefore, it is usually not considered a treatment option until the patient's pain cannot be managed any longer by more conservative treatment. Pain in the knee may be either a sudden or gradual development, depending on the cause of the pain.