A Guide to Knee Replacement Surgery
The thought of walking down or climbing up a flight of stairs brings you fatigue. You base the majority of your daily activity decisions on the level of pain they will induce. Something as simple as sitting causes discomfort.
Does all of this sound quite familiar?
Don’t let the largest joint in your body go neglected. Whether you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or you’ve been injured, knee pain can rob you of an active lifestyle or leave you in pain even when you are not mobile (many experience pain just while lying down). When noninvasive treatment methods aren’t producing results, pain becomes increasingly severe and/or other complications arise, Rebound providers may suggest surgery.
Total knee replacement can be a life-changing surgery, as more than 90 percent of patients who undergo it experience remarkable pain relief and improve their quality of life. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, total knee replacements are one of the most successful procedures.
Would I Benefit From Knee Replacement Surgery?
While there are multiple reasons a physician or surgeon may suggest surgery, here are some of the more common ailments associated with people who would benefit from a knee replacement procedure.
- Severe pain and stiffness to the point that you limit walking, using stairs and getting in/out of chairs
- Reliance on a walker or cane
- Pain while lying down or resting
- Chronic knee inflammation and swelling (regardless of the use of medication)
- Knees that become deformed or bowed
- Physical therapy, medications, injections and other treatments have failed
Am I an Eligible Candidate for Knee Replacement Surgery?
Rebound recommends surgery based on your pain and disability, not your age. Currently, there are no absolute restrictions for weight or age. Patients’ circumstances range from degenerative knee issues associated with age to pain related to severe injury to juvenile arthritis.
What Does the Knee Replacement Procedure Involve?
One of our skilled knee specialists would replace the damaged portion of the joint with a prosthetic in a procedure that takes anywhere from one to two hours.
Here is a quick overview of a general knee replacement:
- The removal of the damaged cartilage and bone is performed first. This would occur at the ends of the femur and tibia.
- A Rebound surgeon would then replace the removed cartilage and bone with the implant or prosthetic.
- Depending on the patient’s particular case, the patella (also known as the kneecap) would be cut and resurfaced with a plastic button.
- Finally, a spacer would be inserted between the implanted components to give the patient a gliding surface. This not only alleviates pain, but restores alignment to the knee.
Next Steps for Knee Replacement Recovery
Most patients stay in the hospital for several days after the procedure, depending on the surgeon’s recommendations. What steps you take to recover at home will play a huge role in your success story. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s action plan for the following:
- Wound care- like after most surgeries, you should avoid soaking your wound in water initially. Bandaging your wound can help prevent irritation.
- Diet- after the surgery, it is important to restore muscle strength and aid your wound’s healing process. A balanced diet and iron supplement can assist in those processes, but you should avoid excessive vitamin K intake (vitamin K can cause complications with your medication).
- Activity- early mobilization is important, but you may need help during the first few weeks. In addition to following a program set by your doctor, you should resume normal activities (just make sure not to overdo it!).
Healthy knees are crucial to carrying out everyday activities with ease, and Rebound can help patients gain back their mobility. Rebound works in partnership with hospitals and offers pre surgical classes and plans to help with scheduling all pre-surgery appointments. Our approach is to make joint replacement as easy as possible for our patients.
If you are wondering whether or not knee replacement surgery is an option for you, make an appointment with a member of our talented team of knee specialists.
Here are some other resources to help you get to know your knees and what to expect from total knee replacement: