The experts at Center for Spine and Orthopedics are experienced in total knee replacement surgery and dedicated to our patients overall quality of life. If you feel you could benefit from knee replacement surgery, read the article below and contact our knowledgeable team to get started on your treatment.
If your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, it may be hard for you to perform simple activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. You may even feel pain while sitting or lying down. If nonsurgical treatments, such as medications and using walking supports, are no longer helpful, you may want to consider total knee replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain, correct leg deformity and help you resume normal activities.
Since 1968, when knee replacement surgery was first performed, improvements in surgical materials and techniques have greatly increased its effectiveness. Today, total knee replacements are one of the most successful procedures in medicine. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed annually in the United States.
When is total knee replacement recommended?
People who benefit from total knee replacement often have:
- Severe knee pain or stiffness that limits their everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs and getting in and out of chairs. They may find it hard to walk more than a few blocks without significant pain and need to use a cane or walker.
- Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, either day or night
- Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that doesn’t improve with rest or medications
- Knee deformity (bowing in or out of the knee)
- Failure to improve with anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, physical therapy or other non-surgical treatment
Who is a candidate for total knee replacement surgery?
Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability. Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are between ages 50 and 80, but orthopedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Total knee replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.
What is involved in knee replacement?
A knee replacement (also called knee arthroplasty) might be more accurately be called a knee “resurfacing” because only the bones’ surface are actually replaced. The four basic steps to a knee replacement are:
- Preparing the bone – The damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the femur and tibia are removed along with a small amount of underlying bone.
- Positioning the metal implants – The removed cartilage and bone is replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint. These metal parts may be cemented or “press-fit” into the bone.
- Resurfacing the patella – The patella (kneecap) undersurface is cut and resurfaced with a plastic button. Some surgeons do not resurface the patella, depending upon the case.
- Inserting a spacer – A medical-grade plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to create a smooth gliding surface.
- The procedure itself takes approximately one to two hours. You will most likely stay in the hospital for several days.
Want to know more about knee replacement surgery and how our surgeons can help you? CLICK HERE to read frequently asked questions and to learn more about this procedure.
- What outcome can you expect?
- What type of physical therapy is needed after surgery?
- How long will recovery take?
- How is your new knee different?
Information originally found on orthoinfo.org.