Full and Partial Knee Replacement2016-10-25T19:49:49-04:00

Full and Partial Knee Replacement


What is Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery, also called knee arthroplasty, can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. The replacement procedure involves cutting away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone, and kneecap, and replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers. The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is to repair joint damage caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Total knee replacements are among the most successful procedures in all of medicine.

When is a Knee Replacement Recommended?

A partial or total knee replacement may be recommended when nonsurgical treatments like medications, physical therapy, injections, and walking supports are no longer helpful. The surgery is a safe and effective way to relieve pain, correct leg deformity, and help you resume normal activities. Your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery if you have:

  • Everyday activities are limited by severe knee pain or stiffness
  • Moderate to severe knee pain while resting, either day or night
  • Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
  • A knee deformity, such as bowing in or out of your knee

The decision to perform replacement surgery is generally based on pain and disability. Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are age 50 to 80.

Post-surgical Expectations

Total knee replacement surgeries are usually performed in a hospital. You will most likely stay in the hospital for one to three days, depending on what is required for your recovery. You will experience some pain or discomfort after surgery, but your hospital care team will provide medication to keep you as comfortable as possible.

Physical therapy is an extremely important part of rehabilitation and usually begins the day of surgery. You will learn specific exercises to strengthen your leg and restore knee movement to allow walking and other normal daily activities.

You can generally resume most daily activities four to six weeks after knee replacement surgery. After you’ve recovered, you can enjoy a variety of low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, golfing, or biking. However, higher impact activities like jogging, skiing, tennis, and sports involving contact or jumping should be avoided until discussed with and approved by your doctor.

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