A knee replacement diagram is a visual guide to the parts of the joint that will be replaced during knee replacement surgery and includes the uppermost femoral joint made from curved metal, the flat metal tibia which may be attached to the bone for stability and the polyethylene or plastic surface that is the barrier between the two metal components in the joint. In knee replacement surgery, a replacement diagram shows the components of the damaged joint that will be replaced by an artificial knee. The damaged parts of the thigh, lower shin and kneecap are capped with artificial surfaces made of metal and plastic, notes WebMD.
In order to read a knee replacement diagram, understand what type of replacement diagram it is. Knee replacement surgeries are constantly improving and changing. As of 2015, doctors are working on ways to just replace the damaged part of the knees, notes WebMD. The diagram may represent a complete knee replacement with the femoral and tibia or a partial replacement such as a unicompartmental replacement or a patellofemoral replacement that will only replace the inner or outer knee or thigh bone surfaces.
Once the type of replacement chart is determined, refer to an anatomy diagram. The knee consists of several sections: bone, connective tissue and tendons. During knee replacement, a replacement diagram, a model of the replacement and a knee X-ray will help patients fully understand the surgery and how it will affect all sections of the knee.