Total knee arthroplasty—also called total knee replacement—is one of the most commonly performed joint replacement procedures. Even in knees that are severely damaged, it is often highly successful and can bring significant improvement to quality of life by offering knee pain relief and by restoring function and range of motion in the knee joint.
Knee replacement, including total knee replacement and partial knee replacement, is sometimes performed after an injury. However, knee replacement is often needed due to the wear and tear of cartilage and bone caused by osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease, the most common form of knee arthritis.
A skilled orthopedic doctor will be able to perform an exam and use X-rays and imaging to diagnose your issue and provide the right treatment for you.
Is Knee Replacement Surgery Right for You?
If you have mild knee pain, instead of recommending surgery right away, your surgeon may suggest anti-inflammatory pain medications. Other nonsurgical options for managing knee pain include steroid knee injections, exercises and physical therapy, or the use of walking support, such as a cane.
If your pain persists and your knee hurts when you are using it for daily activities, such as climbing the stairs, and when you are not using it, such as when you are sitting or lying down, it is an indication that knee replacement surgery is a good option for you. Total knee replacement surgery is best for people who have arthritis in more than one area of their knee. If osteoarthritis is confined to one area of your knee joint, partial knee replacement, or unicompartmental knee arthroplasty, may be a better option.
You should seek out an experienced orthopedic surgeon to perform your knee replacement. This specialist should not only be skilled at performing knee replacement surgery, but should also be knowledgeable about choosing patients who are appropriate for the procedure. While many patients are candidates for joint replacement, an experienced, skilled surgeon will be able to best determine who will benefit most from the procedure.
At Rebound Orthopedics & Neurosurgery, Todd A. Borus, M.D., Mark R. Colville, M.D., Jerome J. DaSilva, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., M. Robson Fraser, M.D., Alan P. Newman, M.D., Donald W. Roberts, M.D., and Stephen R. Southerland, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., all have exceptional training and experience in knee replacement and the latest surgical procedures. Our total knee replacement experts are available at our Vancouver, Rose Quarter, Salmon Creek, East Vancouver, and Lake Oswego locations.
What to Expect During Your Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement is performed while you are under general anesthesia. First, the surgeon makes an incision in the front of your knee and removes the damaged cartilage of your joint from the surface of your bones. Next, he or she shapes these surfaces so they can hold a metal or plastic artificial joint. Then, an artificial knee is inserted into the area and attached to the thighbone (femur) and shin (tibia) using a special material. The undersurface of the kneecap may also be cut and resurfaced, and finally, a plastic spacer is placed between the components so they can move and glide easily.
You will go to a recovery room while your anesthesia wears off, and you will be monitored. If your total knee arthroplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, you will be released the day of your procedure to recover from home after you are cleared by your surgeon.
Knee Replacement Recovery, Risks & Rehabilitation
You should be able to stand and move around one day after surgery. Next, you will likely transition to a walking device, such as crutches or a walker, and complete physical therapy. After six to eight weeks, when your new knee can support your body weight, you should be able to perform most normal and low-impact activities.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection or blood clots. Sometimes, the range of motion may be more limited than was expected, and knee scarring can occur. Additionally, over time, implant surfaces become worn, and the artificial joint may loosen from use. After many years, your prosthesis may need replaced through a revision total knee arthroplasty, or revision surgery.
The Region's Most Preferred Total Knee Care in Vancouver, Portland & Lake Oswego
If you're ready to discuss total knee replacement or treatment options for your knee problem with one of our experts, Todd A. Borus, M.D., Mark R. Colville, M.D., Jerome J. DaSilva, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., M. Robson Fraser, M.D., Alan P. Newman, M.D., Donald W. Roberts, M.D., and Stephen R. Southerland, M.D., F.R.C.S.C., visit us in Vancouver at our Vancouver, Salmon Creek, or East Vancouver locations; in Portland at our Rose Quarter location; or at our Lake Oswego location. You can request an appointment online or call us at 1-800-REBOUND.