What is a Total Knee Replacement?

Total knee replacement surgery is a procedure where a damaged knee joint is completely replaced by a prosthetic. The ends of both of the long bones that make up the leg, the tibia and the femur are removed and replaced. In the case of the femur, the prosthetic is a shell made of metal that articulates with a plastic device that is connected to a metal stem. The surgeon may also insert a plastic button under the surface of the patella, or the kneecap.

Why Do People Get Total Knee Replacement?
People opt for total knee replacement when the damage or the pain in their knee prevents them from performing tasks as ordinary as walking. For some people, the pain does not let up even when they are at rest. Medications and devices that help with mobility also do not help, and your knee doesn’t respond to medications, cortisone injections, other types of surgery or physiotherapy. Your knee might indeed be deformed from trauma and inflammation.

What Happens During Knee Replacement Surgery?
Even before the surgery you need to have a consultation with the surgeon. You’ll need to choose whether you want a partial or total knee replacement, and the doctor will tell you what the operations entail. If you’re deemed to be a good candidate for the surgery and a date for the operation is agreed upon, you’ll be given instructions to follow before the operation. For example, if you smoke you must stop at least two weeks before the surgery, as smoking interferes with healing You may even need to stop taking certain medications or even herbal supplements for the same reason. You will need to have someone drive you home from the hospital and need to prepare your home for you recuperation.

You may also meet with the anesthesiologist before the operation. You’ll probably have general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep. However, you can also have a nerve block that numbs the lower part of your body.

What Happens During the Surgery?
During the surgery, which is called knee arthroplasty, the doctor prepares your tibia and femur and add the prosthetics. The kneecap is then resurfaced, and the plastic button is added. The surgeon puts a plastic spacer between the metal parts of the prosthetic to help it move with little friction. The entire operation takes about one to two hours.

After the surgery you’ll spend a few days in the hospital. The doctor will give you pain killers to help manage your pain, which is to be expected after your surgery. The doctor will fit you with a compression stocking after the surgery and encourage you to move your foot and ankle soon after you wake up from surgery. This prevents blood clots. After you come home, you’ll probably be referred to a physical therapist to support your recovery.

The great majority of people who have total knee replacement report a significant lessening of pain and return of a good deal of mobility. They can now perform tasks such as waking, driving, riding a bike and swimming without pain.

Call Plano Orthopedic today!
Residents of DFW needn’t look any further than Plano Orthopedic for all of their  orthopedic needs. As one of the largest and most experienced orthopedic practices in North Texas, we have the tools, technology and expertise needed to fix virtually every bone and joint in your body! Call us today to schedule your appointment at 972-250-5700 or contact us online.

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