Knee Replacement Surgery
The knee allows you to move in a variety of ways and to perform a broad array of actions, both recreational and functional. When overuse, wear and tear, injury, or disease reduce the mobility of this joint, pain and discomfort can develop. If you’re experiencing chronic issues and reduced well-being as a result of knee problems, knee replacement may be the right choice for you. At All-Star Orthopaedics, our extensively trained orthopaedic surgeons offer all types of knee replacement using the most advanced technology available. We focus on providing state-of-the-art, minimally invasive techniques that help patients recover faster and with less pain. If you’re ready to talk about your options, contact our practice to schedule a consultation today.
- Knee Replacement Candidates
- Types of Knee Replacement Surgery
- Does Knee Replacement Hurt?
- Knee Replacement Recovery
- Knee Replacement Results
- Knee Replacement Cost
- Knee Replacement Alternatives
Am I a Candidate for Knee Replacement Surgery?
If non-surgical treatments are not offering relief from pain or providing enough support to function normally, you may be a good candidate for partial or total knee replacement surgery. Those who can benefit from knee replacement surgery may relate to one or more of the following:
- Severe pain and stiffness that limits their ability to do routine activities, like walking and using chairs
- Moderate to severe pain in the knee when resting
- Inflammation or swelling that does not respond to rest or medications
- Bowing of the knee or another knee deformity
There is no ideal age for a knee replacement, as it is the patient’s pain and problems with functionality that determine their candidacy. While patients as young as their teens may be eligible for surgery, such as if they have juvenile arthritis, most patients who need a total knee replacement are between 50 and 80 years of age.
What Are the Different Types of Knee Replacement?
Our surgeons may recommend one of two different types of knee replacement surgery. They will always recommend the least invasive technique that can provide the best possible outcome for the patient. In many cases, robot-assisted surgery may be performed to optimize a patient’s surgical results.
Partial Knee Replacement
Partial knee joint replacement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure designed for patients with arthritis that affects only one part of the knee. In total knee replacement, all the cartilage is removed; however, partial knee joint replacement involves removal of only the cartilage that has been damaged—the healthy cartilage can be left in place. This procedure typically requires a smaller incision and can result in a much quicker recovery time when compared to full knee replacement. Not all patients are candidates for this treatment. Our experienced orthopaedic surgeons will evaluate your needs and determine if partial knee replacement surgery is the best option for you.
Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement is known as one of the most successful procedures in the field of surgery, and can help those with arthritis and other conditions affecting the knee reduce pain, increase range of motion, feel more comfortable standing and walking, and develop better strength in the knee area. The procedure involves the placement of the worn-out surfaces of cartilage in the joint with a prosthesis made of biocompatible metals and plastics. Knee replacement is typically performed on patients who suffer from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which ultimately cause inflammation and eventual destruction of cartilage.
Robotic-Arm Assisted Knee Replacement
To provide the best care possible, our extensively trained orthopaedic surgeons are experienced in using robotic-arm assisted surgical techniques that can enhance the precision of your procedure. Robot-assisted surgery uses a robotic arm to help make cuts in the bone and tissues and/or resurface damaged areas to enhance the outcome. This approach can also reduce recovery times and scarring, as well as provide other notable benefits for the patient. No matter the technology used, the surgeon is always in control.
Is Knee Replacement Surgery Painful?
Some degree of pain, swelling, and bruising is to be expected after your knee replacement surgery. The majority of the swelling and bruising should subside within the first three weeks of recovery, but residual swelling and general pain may persist for several weeks or months. Our team strives to help you remain as comfortable as possible throughout the course of your healing from knee replacement surgery. While your initial pain can be managed with pain medication, icing, and proper rest, it is important that you slowly resume mild activities like walking and post-operative exercises to help reduce inflammation. Over time your discomfort should fade, and the pain you experienced before surgery should be significantly improved.
What Can I Expect in My Knee Replacement Recovery?
A partial knee replacement can often be performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you should be able to return home the same day as your operation. Total knee replacement generally requires a hospital stay. Patients can usually expect a recovery period of about three months to allow the knee to heal properly. Within 12-24 hours of your surgery, we may have you begin to practice some exercises to improve recovery and help begin the healing process.
Physical therapy is an essential part of achieving an optimal outcome. At every stage of your journey, our experienced medical team will be available to guide you and provide support and information so that you can return to activity as quickly and as comfortably as possible. You should find walking, bathing, and dressing easier as you navigate your recovery. Over time, approximately four to six weeks after surgery, assistive devices (including crutches or a cane) should become unnecessary. At this point, depending on your unique rate of healing, you may be able to return to work and regular activities. Even so, you should be cautious while driving until you feel confident and capable.
Will I Need to Do Exercises After My Knee Replacement?
A physical therapist will demonstrate and ask you to perform specific exercises at each stage of the healing process. These movements are designed to gradually strengthen your knee as quickly, effectively, and safely as possible. During this time, we will prescribe medication to manage your pain and enhance your comfort. Continue practicing the activities, increasing the level of effort as directed. Rehabilitation will continue at home and, in most cases, our rehabilitation center. Your surgeon and physical therapist will guide you through the different stages of activity. You will be encouraged to increase exercise by degrees.
After approximately two months you should still be performing your physical therapy exercises. The physical therapist may adjust the activity type and degree of difficulty to suit your changing needs and goals. It’s important to note, these exercises will be essential for successful healing, and you should perform them consistently to achieve the best possible result. You may be able to return to low-impact exercises after about three months, or as soon as your surgeon recommends. High-impact activities, such as running, basketball, football, and cycling, should be avoided until your surgeon gives you clearance. With patience and dedication, knee replacement can improve your well-being and give you back the freedom to enjoy life.
How Long Does a Knee Replacement Last?
The average total knee replacement typically lasts as much as 20 years or more, but how you recover and treat your body following the procedure will play an important role in how long the device can benefit you. Partial knee replacements may not last as long, with approximately 1 in 10 patients needing a repeat procedure after around 10 years. Again, proper healing, physical therapy, and lifestyle adjustments can protect and preserve your results, thus leading to longer-lasting outcomes. No implant is designed to last forever, but we can help you get the most out of yours. During your consultation, our medical team will review the ways you can contribute to making your knee replacement the best it can be.
How Much Does a Knee Replacement Cost?
The price of a total knee replacement can vary from person to person, although on average it’s approximately $50,000. If you have medical insurance, your policy will likely cover most of the fees associated with your treatment. The complexity of your procedure, number of days spent in the hospital, and other factors will play a role in the final cost. We recommend speaking with your insurance agent to determine how much of the total price you will be responsible for.
Are There Alternatives to Knee Replacement?
For most patients, a knee replacement is the last resort. We believe in using the most conservative, effective treatment possible to address your concern. Some of the ways you can take pressure off your knees and potentially reduce discomfort include physical therapy, weight loss, oral medications, stem cell treatments, and even acupuncture. Knee injections using hyaluronic acid or cortisone may also help to relieve your pain or mobility issues. If you would like suggestions on non-surgical and minimally invasive alternatives to knee replacement, our medical team will review all the recommended approaches at your appointment.
Don’t suffer from knee pain and dysfunction for longer than necessary. Talk to our friendly and knowledgeable medical team to find out if knee replacement is right for you.