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Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee Replacement Candidates

For individuals who suffer from severe pain and stiffness in the knee that interferes with day to day life, knee replacement surgery may be an option. When other methods of treating pain and discomfort, joint replacement is often the solution that allows sufferers to go back to activities that they could not participate in before. Thanks to recent advancements, knee replacement surgery is safer, simpler, and requires less downtime than ever before.

Knee Replacement Procedures

Knee replacement procedures are performed in hospitals. In most cases, the patient is under general anesthesia, but some surgeons may use spinal or epidural anesthesia instead. During a traditional knee replacement, a large incision is made on the knee. Any parts of the joint that are damaged are removed from the surface of the bones, and the surfaces are sculpted to fit an artificial knee joint made of plastic or metal. The joint is connected to the femur, shin, and knee cap, and it is held in place by a type of cement. The artificial joint relies on the surrounding tissue including muscle and ligament for function and support. Some doctors offer minimally invasive knee replacement. The procedure is similar, but a smaller incision is needed, and the surgeon does not need to cut through the tendon. The minimally invasive procedure is less painful and typically heals faster than the traditional surgery.

Post Surgery Knee Replacement

After undergoing knee replacement surgery, most patients are required to stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days. During this time physical therapists work with patients to help them start walking again. Most patients can stand on and move the joint the day after the surgery. For the first few weeks, the use of a cane, walker, or crutches may be necessary when walking. Doctors often recommend outpatient physical therapy in the weeks immediately following surgery. Most patients can walk comfortably without assistance in about six weeks. Once the knee completely heals and muscle strength returns, the vast majority of patients can enjoy normal activities aside from jumping or running.

Surgery Complications

Knee replacement surgery is typically a safe procedure, but there are some risks. A limited number of patients may experience blood clots, bleeding, or infection. Some also experience side effects related to the anesthesia. In rare cases, replacement parts may break or become loose, nerves may be damaged, or fat from the bone marrow may enter the bloodstream and cause breathing problems.

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