Knee endoprosthesis / Top clinic in Germany, Friedrichshafen

Knee endoprosthesis

The implantation of a knee endoprosthesis is one of the routine surgeries at German orthopedic centers. The board certified endoprosthesis center in Friedrichshafen is designed for 45 beds, including 6 intensive care beds. In the period from 2003 to 2009 about 3 000 implantations of knee endoprosthesis have been performed here.

The aim of knee arthroplasty is to reduce pain, restore joint function and improve the quality of life. The specialists of Friedrichshafen are devoted to the most secure and efficient techniques of knee replacement. The knee joint arthroplasty is performed in a sparing minimally invasive way. Great importance is given to the postoperative period and the patient's rehabilitation.

The following models of endoprosthesis are used for knee replacement at the Clinic of Friedrichshafen:

  • Oxford knee prosthesis
  • LINK
  • Smith-Nephew
  • Wright
  • Zimmer
  • NexGen mobile bearing

The experienced specialist selects the knee endoprosthesis model individually, taking into consideration the condition of the bone tissue and anatomical features of the knee.

Special attention is paid tot he materials of knee prosthesis. The partial or complete-knee prosthesis, which we use at our clinic, consists of a special cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy. The plastic parts are made of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. Due to the excellent biocompatibility of these materials, allergies and side effects can be ruled out.

Types of knee replacement implants

Endoprosthesis (or: knee replacement) as part of the treatment of the damaged knee joints implies replacement of one or both of the articular surfaces. The specialists distinguish between the following main types of knee replacement implants:

  • Unilateral arthroplasty (Sled prosthesis - replacement of the sliding surface of the joint)
  • Total joint replacement (Replacement of the whole joint)

The types of prostheses differ according to the scale of joint damage and are defined individually after the thorough examination. Our doctors comprehensively consult the patients about the various implant systems, their benefits and risks.

Before the surgery, the medical team at the hospital plans the procedure in detail and discusses the anesthesia. The operational planning is based on X-ray recordings or other imaging techniques. It helps to define the exact parameters of the knee replacement implants.

The mobile and fixed knee implants

Knee endoprosthesis

Generally, there are two classic designs of the knee replacement implants: mobile and fixed knee systems. The technical difference is in this case in the mobility of the upper and lower leg component sliding surface. The mobile bearings can rotate on the metal plate of the tibial component. The knee implants with fixed bearings are more stable. They click firmly into the metal component and are thus well fixed. Which kind of the implant to choose, is decided during the preliminary diagnostics and consultation. Both variants are absolutely safe, reliable and functional. They offer good mobility, flexion and sufficient stability.

The knee endoprosthesis is usually fixed by the so-called bone cement, which establishes a fixed connection between the bone and prosthesis. But there is also the possibility that the endoprosthesis is fixed without cement. The combination of both methods is common in practice - in this case we speak of a hybrid supply.

The modern knee replacement systems. Types of knee replacement implants.

The entire knee joint needs replacement only in rare cases. More frequently only the part of the joint is worn or damaged. The LINK® sled prosthesis, used at our clinic, replaces only one side of the damaged cartilage surface and spares the massive surgical intervention.

If only one side / part of the joint is damaged and all the knee ligaments are safe, a partial slide end prosthesis or unicondylar endoprosthesis is implanted only on the inner or outer side of the knee joint. The advantage: the healthy areas of the knee as well as the cruciate ligaments remain intact.

If the entire knee joint is damaged, a surface prosthesis is implemented: The surgeons replace the entire surface of the thigh and lower leg bone.

Modular prosthesis. Hybride knee replacement systems

In case of instability of the lateral and cruciate ligaments the special modular prostheses with different variants of the coupling are implemented. With different lengths and arbitrary stem extensions the stability of the knee can be restored even with bone defects. These modular endoprostheses allow individual adaptation of the prosthesis to the patient's needs: The individual components can be combined depending on the requirements. These prostheses are used in severe joint destruction or exchange interventions as part of the surgical revision.

The rotation knee prosthesis. Knee replacement system for better axial alignment

This kind of knee replacement implant allows axial rotation and reduces the stress on the prosthesis anchorage. This model of knee replacement implant is available in two versions and four implant sizes (right and left):

  • the model without patella flange (best variant for primary implantation). Its advantage is that it helps to preserve the bony femoropatellar joint
  • the model with patella flange for femoropatellar joint replacement

We treat the patients with various diseases of the knee joint, mainly with degenerative diseases (osteoarthritis), inflammatory rheumatic knee disorders (rheumatoid arthritis), cartilage and the bone damages.Annually we perform more than 3 000 successful knee replacement surgeries. If you consider the possibility of knee replacement, we would be glad to consult you on the modern implant systems, applied at the orthopedic department of the Clinic of Friedrichshafen.

Indications for knee endoprosthesis

During the endoprosthesis surgery, the affected joint components are replaced with knee prosthesis („artificial joint“), repeating the form of healthy joint. The modern design of the knee joint prosthesis includes a femoral and tibial components. The newest technology involves the use of special stabilizers which play the role of the natural ligaments. The surgeon also inserts plastic liners that perform the function of cartilage and reduce friction and minimize the risk of the endoprosthesis fracture.

The knee endoprosthesis may be necessary in following cases:

  • Degenerative arthritis with the damage to the articular cartilage
  • Medial knee osteoarthritis (varus gonarthrosis)
  • Lateral knee osteoarthritis (valgus)
  • Osteoarthritis in the outer chamber of the knee
  • Osteoarthritis behind the kneecap (retropatellar osteoarthritis)
  • Osteoarthritis in the joint between the patella and femur

Depending on the disease and its severity, the specialist will select the best possible solution and treatment for the patient. Whether conservative treatment or surgery followed by rehabilitation – we offer our patients personalized attention.

Individual knee endoprosthesis at the Clinic of Friedrichshafen

Each knee is unique. It implies that each knee endoprosthesis should be performed individually. The Clinical Center of Friedrichshafen has the special system of computer planning. On the basis of the CT data, a virtual 3D model of the patient's knee is created and a so-called digital mold is produced, by means of which the implant is made.

Individual fitting is achieved due to the system of computer navigation, which is implemented during the surgery. Correct positioning and orientation help to reduce the bone preparation, prolong the service of the prosthesis and shorten the rehabilitation period. The following endoprosthesis types are implemented at Friedrichshafen Clinic:

  • Unicompartmental knee endoprosthesis - used to replace a part of the knee joint (internal or external condyle); This type of knee implant has a metal inlay in the thigh component with a polyethylene sliding on the opposite side of the tibia.
  • Total (bicondylar) knee endoprosthesis - used in considerable damage to the bone and ligament apparatus;
  • Hemicap knee endoprosthesis - small prosthesis in the form of a screw with a cap-component, used to replace the articular cartilage;

All these endoprosthesis modells imply minimally invasive surgery with maximum preservation of bone. The team of the orthopedic department closely cooperate with the specialists of the leading university clinics, which means that in each particular case only the safest techniques are implemented.

Oxford knee endoprosthesis: Unicompartmental knee replacement

The Oxford knee prosthesis from Biomet is known worldwide for over 30 years as a partial knee replacement technique with very good clinical results. The partial knee endoprosthesis replaces only one side of the natural knee joint and thus allows better preservation of healthy bone. The prosthesis consists of a femoral component, a mobile meniscus insert and a tibial component. The upper and lower leg component are made of a metal alloy, the meniscus application consists of a specially molded plastic.

The femoral component is designed as a spherical segment. The force generated when moving over a large area is gently spread over the meniscus. The movable meniscus insert slides on the tibial component, imitating the natural movement. The wear of the joint components is significantly reduced by this construction method.

If you think of the knee replacement surgery in Germany, please, contact our international office at the Clinical Center of Friedrichshafen for more information.

Knee endoprosthesis

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Medical Staff

Prof MD Eugene Winter

Prof MD Eugene Winter
Head of the Orthopedic Department of Clinical center of Friedrichshafen

MD Norbert Heuer

MD Norbert Heuer
Head physician assistant

MD Christoph Kaiser

MD Christoph Kaiser
Senior physician

MD Rainer Schnell

MD Rainer Schnell
Senior physician

Ingrid Glauss

Ingrid Glauss
Medical secretary

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Facts and Figures

  • 12000 outpatient
  • 2523 inpatients
  • 2500 surgeries
  • 735 arthroplasty of the joints of the hip, knee and shoulder
  • 1500 hand surgeries

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