Knee replacement is performed for arthritis of the knee joint where the smooth hyaline cartilage is lost, causing pain with activities. Patients will often complain of pain at night. They may also note feelings of instability with walking.
Evaluation of the knees is performed and x-rays are obtained to show the degree of arthritis and wear within the joint.
Knee replacement is most commonly a total knee replacement. In certain cases, a partial knee replacement can be performed if only one part of the knee joint is worn out. The objective of a knee replacement is to replace the areas of worn out cartilage and degeneration that causes the pain and dysfunction. The patient will maintain their stabilizing collateral ligaments.
Knee prostheses are sized to match the patient’s unique anatomy. The surgery will take approximately 60 minutes to complete. After surgery the patient will return to their hospital room where physical therapy will begin. Patients are asked to work on motion of the knee. They will be encouraged to walk on the knee on the night of surgery.
Total hospital stay is typically 1 day, however our physicians do offer outpatient total joint arthroplasty as an option for the appropriate patient. Physical therapy will be utilized postoperatively to continue rehabilitation in motion and strength. After discharge the patient will be seen back in clinic for follow-up 3 weeks after the surgery.
The goal of knee replacement is to allow patients the opportunity to live life free of knee pain that limits their activities of daily living, hobbies, and other interests. Knee replacement patients are often very satisfied with their surgery and wish they hadn’t waited so long.