Total Knee Replacement is a highly effective surgical option used to treat knee arthritis that has not responded to non-surgical treatment. The procedure is performed over 600,000 times a year and provides patients significant symptom relief and drastically improves quality of life. If you’re considering the procedure, you should know the process from start to finish.
During The Surgery
Surgery is performed under general anesthesia and can be broken down into the following steps:
- Arthritic bone and damaged cartilage is removed.
- The removed bone is replaced with metal components fitted to your knee
- The patella (kneecap) bone is trimmed and then replaced with a plastic component.
- A spacer is inserted to replicate the natural movement of the new knee.
- Closure of the surgical incision.
Surgical time varies based on the severity of arthritis and the anatomic structure of the your knee. Generally speaking, patients can expect to be in surgery for only 60-90 minutes.
Illustration 1– Before and after surgery
The duration of your hospital stay is based on each patient’s individual condition and overall health but is generally only 1-2 days. During the stay, physicians, nurses and physical therapists take care of the you to ensure:
- The wound heals properly
- You are able to walk
- Strength is regained
Before you are sent home, you will be given detailed instructions in regards to taking care of yourself after surgery.
You can rest in the comfort of your home for three weeks before the first post surgery appointment with your orthopedic surgeon. During those two weeks, you should follow the instructions given during the hospital stay. Special attention should be given to:
- Wound care
- Pain management
- Physical therapy
Home recovery is an important step towards symptom relief and a return to normal function and all instructions should be followed.
Making Your Decision
The decision to undergo a Total Knee Replacement is not often an easy one. However, evaluating your overall quality of life is a good indicator of when it may be time. If your ability to do the things you love are compromised and pain is to the point where it is constant, it may be time.
You and your orthopedic surgeon should make sure that you have gone through all conservative treatments before considering surgery. If you have tried physical therapy, medications and injections but still have not gotten adequate relief, joint replacement surgery may be the next logical step.
When in the hands of the right orthopedic surgeon, your quality of life can drastically improve after surgery.
At Plymouth Bay Orthopedic Associates, we specialize in Total Joint Replacement procedures. In fact, Our Orthopedic Program was designated a Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center® for Hip and Knee Replacements. Our Joint Replacement Team utilizes the latest surgical technology to ensure an amazing outcome. If you are considering a Knee Replacement, contact our offices in Duxbury and Sandwich to schedule a consultation with one of Joint Replacement Experts.