What is a Knee Replacement?
If you are experiencing chronic knee pain and it seems as if everything you have tried has failed, you are not alone. Over 600,000 people a year have knee replacements to restore their mobility and provide relief from pain so they can participate in their daily activities. At Orthopedic Centers of America, we want to help you find a life without chronic pain. Call 1-888-549-0835 today to speak with a patient coordinator. The call is free, and you will be glad you took the first step towards preserving your independent lifestyle!
The most common reason patients choose knee replacement surgery is due to a condition known as osteoarthritis. When more conservative treatments have not alleviated the pain, a knee replacement is recommended. Other causes may include the following:
- Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis can cause pain and deformity of the knee
- Knee Injury – Any trauma to the knee can present a situation where it needs to be replaced.
- Avascular necrosis – a loss of blood flow to the knee that causes a portion of the bone to die.
- Bowed legs – the need to restore the correct position of the knees
- Progressive decline in mobility due to knee pain
Types of Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is also called Arthroplasty. This is a procedure in which the ends of the two large bones meeting at the knee are resurfaced using metal and/or plastic parts. The underside of the kneecap is also replaced in a total replacement, allowing all the components of the joint to work together smoothly.
There are three types of knee replacement surgery: total, partial and kneecap replacement. The description above is of total knee replacement; partial replacement is when only one part is needed to be replaced and can usually be done with a minimally-invasive procedure. If only the underside of the kneecap needs to be replaced, then that is called kneecap replacement.
If you are suffering with knee pain, it is time to see an orthopedic surgeon. At Orthopedic Centers of America, we want to help you. Our network of Orthopedic Surgeons is not involved in prescribing narcotics for pain. Instead, they work to correct the underlying problem causing pain for long-lasting relief. Call 1-888-549-0835 today to be matched with an orthopedic surgeon who has the advanced training and experience you can trust to help you get back to doing the things you enjoy without the burden of chronic pain.
Once you are diagnosed and decide that the more conservative treatments do not address your painful knee, the orthopedic surgeon may recommend knee replacement surgery. All surgeries have some risk involved, and along with the possibility that the knee replacement may eventually wear out, the following are other possible risks with knee replacement surgery:
- Blood clots in leg vein or lungs
- Heart Attack
- Nerve damage
- Urinary tract infection
- Chronic knee pain and stiffness
Knee Replacement Surgery and Rehabilitation
Before the surgical procedure, your doctor will carefully evaluate the joints adjacent to the diseased knee to get a complete picture of your health. All medicines that you currently take will be reviewed and blood will be drawn for a routine testing of liver and kidney functions. The actual operation takes between 1-3 hours, and then you will move to the recovery room.
Once you leave the recovery room and are settled in a rehabilitation area, the physical therapist will start you on a gradual walking program. You may walk down the hall at the hospital. Likewise, the physical therapist will teach you knee and leg strengthening exercises to perform each day and to continue after you arrive home. These exercises are a crucial portion of your recovery as they strengthen the ligaments and tendons around the knee. Most people resume their activities between 3-6 weeks after the total knee replacement surgery.