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Unlike the hip joint, which is partly protected by the bony structures of the pelvis, the knee joint is not shielded by any other parts of the skeleton.
In addition, the knee joint must bear the weight of the upper body as well as the stresses and shocks carried upward through the feet when a person walks or runs.
Although about 70% of these operations are performed in people over the age of 65, a growing number of knee replacements are being done in younger patients.
People in general are influenced in their health care decisions by the experiences and opinions of friends or family members, and Caucasians are more likely than African Americans to know someone who has had knee replacement surgery.
Fewer are willing to endure years of discomfort or resign themselves to a restricted level of activity.
In terms of gender and racial differences, women are slightly more likely to seek knee replacement surgery than men, and Caucasians in the United States are more likely to have the operation than African Americans.
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.