Most patients with advanced arthritis reach a point where medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes no longer provide relief from symptoms. Quality of life is very important and is a primary consideration when recommending knee replacement surgery to patients. If you are considering a total knee replacement, here’s what you need to know about the procedure.
How It Differs From a Partial Knee Replacement
Unlike a partial knee replacement, which involves replacing only a section of the joint, a total knee replacement involves the removal of the entire joint. A knee replacement is one of the most commonly performed joint replacement surgeries in the US, with over 700,000 knee replacements done each year.
What is in a Knee Implant?
The damaged knee joint will be replaced with an artificial prosthesis. There are many different types of implants and the decision for the type of prosthesis used will depend on several factors. The knee anatomy, degree of deformity, and stability and quality of the soft tissues will be considered when choosing an implant. Artificial knee implants are made of metal alloys, ceramic, and plastic. Artificial knee implants are continually improved to benefit not just function but also longevity. Modern knee implants can last 20 years or longer.
What Happens During Surgery?
The surgeon will make an incision in the knee to access the joint. Next, they will remove the damaged parts of the joint. The bones will be resurfaced to better accommodate the knee implant. Cement will be used to attach the implant prosthesis to the bone. A plastic spacer will be placed between the metal femur and tibia components for smooth gliding movement. Lastly, the surgeon will reposition the kneecap in front of the knee and close the incision.
What is Recovery Like?
A knee replacement can be performed using a minimally invasive technique, which allows for a faster recovery, as well as less scarring and pain. Patients recover at different rates, but knee replacement patients should dedicate several months for recovery. The doctor will provide detailed instructions after the procedure on how to take care of the knee and improve recovery.
For the first few weeks, the patient will need some assistance. Making modifications to the home can help during recovery. A physical therapy rehabilitation program will help with regaining muscle strength and range of motion. Patients can meet with a physical therapist as soon as the day after surgery.
Many patients are able to return to light office work in just three to six weeks after the surgery and can drive again a month after. To ensure you have a successful procedure, choose a highly experienced orthopaedic surgeon for your total knee replacement.
Knee Replacement Surgeon in Avon and Westlake, OH
Our board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons at Orthopaedic Associates, Inc. routinely perform knee replacement surgery and will walk you through what to expect before, during, and after the procedure. We offer a full range of orthopedic services that help patients get back to their normal lives. To schedule a knee replacement consultation, call us today at (440) 892-1440. Our friendly staff looks forward to serving you.