Types of Knee Implants

Types of Knee Implants

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

Implants used in total knee replacement surgery are highly individualized, and there is no single type or size that fits all. Knee implants vary depending on design, materials, and fixation.

The choice really depends on what the surgeon thinks is the best type of knee implant for you, with careful consideration of factors such as age and lifestyle.

Knee Replacement Prosthetics

Implants for knee replacement surgery have several components, such as femoral, tibial, and patellar prosthetics. The femur is your upper leg bone, the tibia is your lower leg bone, and the patella is your kneecap. Any or all of these can be replaced with prosthetic materials. 

The area of your knee that needs to be replaced will determine the type of prosthesis your surgeon will use in your knee implant surgery. Let’s take a look at a couple of the options in a knee replacement surgery:

Fixed-Bearing Knee Implants 

This is the most commonly recommended knee prosthesis. Fixed-bearing implants have the tibial section made of a polyethylene cushion, and this is fixed to a metal base. This allows the upper femoral component to easily glide over it during movement.

Fixed-bearing implants are long-lasting and effectively restore a good range of motion. However, excess weight or excessive physical activity can cause it to loosen or wear down quickly – although this is very unlikely.

Mobile-Bearing Knee Implants

This type of rotating-platform knee implant is usually recommended to younger, physically active, or overweight patients. It is typically designed for longer wear and performance with its bearing surface.

The polyethylene insert in the tibial component (top of the lower leg bone) has the ability to rotate inside the metal tibial tray. This allows a greater degree of movement to the medial and lateral side of the knee.

Due to their greater mobility than fixed-bearing implants, this type of knee prosthetic needs more support from the existing knee ligaments – they need to be strong. 

No studies have shown whether the mobile-bearing or the fixed-bearing type of knee implant is better, so your doctor will determine which type may be best for your knee depending upon what needs to be repaired.

Advanced Orthopedic Care in Colorado Springs

Here at the Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence, our goal is to provide comprehensive orthopedic care under one roof. Our surgeons, podiatrists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other medical staff collaborate to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal problems – and provide you with world-class orthopedic care. We have been an official partner of various U.S. Olympic teams, including the Paralympics.

Walking and knee movements are very important to quick recovery after surgery. We recommend exercise to our patients as soon as the day after surgery. The Colorado Center of Orthopaedic Excellence offers physical therapy and rehabilitation services right here, so you don’t have to look elsewhere for your post-surgery recuperation. 

If you have any questions about our orthopedic services or you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians or therapists, please call us today at (719) 623-1050 or request an appointment online. We look forward to getting you back in the game!