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Knee Replacement Procedures

An anatomical photo of a knee.If you are considering a knee replacement surgery in Boston, you've come to the right place. The orthopedic surgeons in the Joint Replacement Program at Tufts Medical Center offer the full range of options for patients with knee pain that has not been alleviated by other, non-surgical treatments, like medication, modification of physical activity or the support of walking aids. 

A normal knee joint is formed by the ends of three bones: the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), the upper end of the shin bone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). Ligaments, bands of tissue, connect the bones and provide stability. The ends of the bones are covered with a cartilage lining that prevents the bones from rubbing against each other and allows for flexible, frictionless movement. To further cushion the joint, synovium, a soft tissue, lines the joints and produces a lubricating fluid. Injuries, infection, disease and arthritis are common causes of knee-joint deterioration and pain.

The most common knee surgery our team preforms is partial knee replacement, which can be done traditionally or via the Mako robotic-arm assisted technology. Learn more about your options:

Partial knee replacement with Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology
Partial knee replacement with Mako robotic-arm assisted technology is a treatment option for adults living with early to mid-stage osteoarthritis (OA) that has not yet progressed to all three compartments of the knee. During the partial knee replacement surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon guides the Mako robotic-arm to position the implant in the knee joint. The Mako system also allows your surgeon to make adjustments to your plan during surgery as needed. Learn more about partial knee replacement with Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Technology >

Traditional partial knee replacement
This procedure replaces only part of the knee with synthetic materials while allowing for more knee preservation than total knee replacement. Partial knee replacement also allows more active patients to return to their normal activity levels prior to the development of their knee problems. 

Total knee replacement
An alternative to partial knee replacement, total knee replacement surgery consists of removing the damaged parts of the knee and replacing them with smooth artificial surfaces. A curved, polished metal is used on the end of the femur and tibia. A high density plastic is used as a "cushion" between the metal surfaces, and a small plastic piece is applied to the underside of the patella bone. These artificial pieces allow for improved movement and diminished pain post-surgery by effectively replacing the damaged arthritic cartilage of the knee.

Revision knee replacement
Our surgical team is well-known in the Boston area for their expertise in performing joint replacement revisions and joint replacements for patients with complex medical histories. Knee replacement revision surgery is recommended for artificial knee joints that have been damaged over time due to an infection, or due to normal wear and tear of the prosthetic hip. Revision surgery helps to correct these issues so that the knee can function normally again.

Arthroscopic procedures
Arthroscopic procedures are minimally invasive surgeries, which can preserve more natural bone and tissue and requires smaller incisions. 

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For Mako procedures:

A photograph of the Mako robot, which is used for joint replacement surgery at Tufts MC.

Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Techonology

Tufts MC is one of a small group of centers in New England to offer the Mako system for joint replacement surgery.

Learn what this means for you