Understanding the Procedure for Total Knee Replacement

Understanding the Procedure for Total Knee Replacement

Fabio R. Orozco, M.D. October 3rd, 2014

If you are suffering from pain or stiffness in either of your knee joints, whether this is due to an injury, a degenerative disorder, or normal aging processes, perhaps you are considering a variety of treatment options. For many patients, relief from pain and increase in range of motion can be obtained with minimally invasive surgery or no operation whatsoever. This depends on several factors, and you may already be undergoing a series of diagnostic tests to determine your condition and the choices of treatment available to you. If there appears to be a possibility that you need prosthetic replacements for your knee joints, we want to share some important information with you about the procedure for total knee replacement.

Rothman Institute performs more than nine thousand joint replacement surgeries every year, and our knee specialists are among the most well trained and highly skilled surgeons in the world. Like our various orthopedic specialities, such as diagnostic and corrective treatments for the hip, spine, hand, and ankle, our procedure for total knee replacement is based in state of the art surgical technology, along with the expertise of physicians who have studied and practiced at the top tier medical institutions. Arguably the best orthopedic center in Philadelphia and South Jersey, our team is comprised of the official orthopedic physicians for local professional and collegiate sports teams. As one might expect, we frequently receive a lot of questions about joint operations, for sports injuries as well as issues related to occupational incidents, arthritis, and other degenerative conditions.
For our patients and others who might be inquiring about the procedure for total knee replacement, we have compiled just a few of the many questions we have received over the years. We hope that the following information will help to put your mind at ease about your treatment. Of course, no surgery or recovery is a simple process; however, with the best technology, best practices, and best knee surgeons in Philadelphia and South Jersey, you can be confident in your prognosis for a smooth recovery toward an active and fulfilling lifestyle. If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to contact Rothman Institute at any time.
The Procedure for Total Knee Replacement: Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need total knee replacement?
If you have sustained a serious injury to your knee joints, or if you have arthritis, the cartilage on the lower end of your femur, the upper end of your tibia, and underneath your patella (kneecap) may be damaged or deteriorated to the point that your bones are rubbing against each other, causing you a tremendous amount of pain, stiffness, swelling, and further damage to your bones.
How will a total knee replacement correct this problem?
By placing an artificial knee, a prosthesis made of metal and plastic, on the surfaces where the cartilage has completely worn away, we can restore your ability to bend your knees comfortably by preventing the bones from creating the friction that is currently causing you pain and stiffness.
What is the success rate of total knee replacement operations?
While it may seem to be an intimidating surgery, it is actually one of the safest procedures available. Our knee replacement surgeries have a 98% success rate after 10 years and a 94% success rate after 20 years. Along with surgical skill and high quality prostheses, these results can be achieved by the patient staying healthy through proper diet and an active lifestyle.
Are there any risks I should be aware of?
With any type of surgical procedure, certain risks are to be expected: infections, reactions to medication, anesthesia, and blood clots, these complications can be prevented in most cases, but you should be aware of these risks. In addition to these general concerns, knee surgery comes with the risk that the patient might not follow directions for recovery, or that an unhealthy lifestyle could put the prostheses in jeopardy. Be sure to talk to your surgeon about how to sustain your knee replacements for twenty years or more.
How long is the expected recovery time?
Physical therapy can last for several weeks, and you may not be able to get back to work for a couple of months, depending on how strenuous your job is. For the first several days or couple of weeks, you will need help with everyday tasks around your home, so we recommend that our patients make arrangements to simplify this process until they can move around comfortably. You will need a walker, crutches, or a cane at first; your age and overall health will determine the length of time with which you will need this assistance for walking.
For other questions about the procedure for total knee replacement, contact Rothman Institute to find out more.

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