Total Knee Replacement

Facts and Figures

When non-surgical treatment methods for osteoarthritis, a traumatic knee injury or other knee pain conditions have failed to provide enough relief or are ineffective in correcting the underlying problem so that you can live an active life, free from knee pain, your doctor may recommend total knee replacement surgery.

In the United States alone, more than 600,000 total knee replacement procedures are performed each year and that number is projected to steadily increase over time as both the senior population in America ages and health complications from obesity continue to be a concern.

Is Total Knee Replacement Surgery Right For You?

While this question is one that is best answered in consultation with a trusted knee replacement expert, for most people suffering from degenerative knee pain conditions like osteoarthritis, total knee replacement is typically the treatment method recommended when there is deformity present in the knee, the knee joint has broken down to the point where it is no longer responding to more conservative treatment methods and is a source of knee pain or disability.

The highly skilled and dedicated team of total knee replacement surgery experts at Lakewood Regional Medical center is deeply committed to providing each of our patients with a comprehensive and individualized care plan to address a variety of knee pain conditions. No matter the diagnosis, each patient’s experience can be different in the way that knee pain presents as well as the way that it affects the lifestyle you want to preserve or return to. With this in mind, we strive to align our treatment approach to your unique set of needs and circumstances.

Though it is considered relatively safe in comparison with other types of surgery, total knee replacement surgery does involve risks. Your specific risk may depend on any other underlying conditions at the time of surgery, but some uncommon risks can include an adverse reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection at the surgical site, problems with the knee replacement implant and others. Though long-term risks from total knee replacement surgery aren’t common, it’s still important to discuss all of your possible risks with an orthopedic surgeon who you trust.

What to Expect Before Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Once you have decided to proceed with total knee replacement surgery, your doctor will begin well in advance of the actual procedure with a number of knee pain tests and screenings. He or she will first obtain a medical history from you in order to evaluate your general health and the extent of your knee pain. These preliminary tests will also include a physical examination to assess your range of motion, stability and knee strength. X-rays and other imaging exams may also be ordered to determine the precise location and extent of damage to the knee involved.

What to Expect During Total Knee Replacement Surgery

When your doctor has obtained the results of all of the examinations ordered, your surgery date will be scheduled and communicated with you by your physician’s office. On the day of surgery, you will arrive to the hospital in advance of your total knee replacement procedure. Our compassionate and knowledgeable surgical staff will help prepare you for surgery in our pre-op area. Once preparation is complete, you will be wheeled into the operating room. Total knee replacement surgery is performed under general or spinal anesthesia and the total surgery time for the majority of patients about two hours.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make an 8-12 inch incision in the knee. Once the kneecap is gently moved aside, the damaged knee cartilage is removed and a new metal and plastic knee joint is inserted.

What to Expect After Total Knee Replacement Surgery

After your total knee replacement procedure is complete, you will spend a short time in the surgical recovery room. From there, you will spend about four days in the hospital, recovering in a special unit dedicated just for our joint replacement patients. During your recovery time you will be continuously monitored and will engage in a variety of activities designed to increase blood encourage mobility. After discharge from the hospital, most total knee replacement patients can resume normal, low-impact activities in about six weeks, though any activity should be discussed and cleared with your surgeon before you engage in it.

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