Total knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, can decrease a patient’s pain and increase mobility. But, other treatment options may also help relieve pain without total knee replacement surgery. Our orthopaedic team can accurately diagnosis and treat the complete range of knee disorders, in some cases without surgery or the need for a total knee replacement.
If other treatment options have been tried, and pain persists, total knee replacement may be the best option. Our dedicated joint replacement team performs a high volume of knee replacement surgeries and has the experience and specialized skill to treat even the most challenging cases. We also have an excellent patient satisfaction rate and a low complication rate. Our focus is on delivering the best patient care possible.
When Is Total Knee Replacement Necessary?
The knee joint can be damaged by different types of arthritis, injury or trauma. Joints are formed when the ends of bone are connected by cartilage, which serves as a protective cushion. If the cartilage is damaged or tissues around the joint become inflamed or wear thin, the bones can rub against each other, causing pain. When pain makes even everyday activities difficult – like walking, climbing stairs, sitting or sleeping – total knee replacement may be an option.
How Does Total Knee Replacement Surgery Work?
During knee replacement surgery, joint surfaces are substituted or replaced by prostheses. After the damaged bone and cartilage is removed, the orthopaedic surgeon will place the new artificial knee in its place. For some patients, a minimally invasive approach may be appropriate, which requires smaller incisions and generally leads to faster recovery, less pain and fewer complications.
There are different types of knee implants, and they are typically made of metal alloys with ceramic and/or high-grade plastics. Generally, a knee implant includes components that replace the major parts of the knee (tibial, femoral and patellar components). It is secured in place with cement or screws. An artificial joint may last ten to 20 years. The type of implant used depends on the patient’s age, weight, medical conditions and other factors. As part of an academic medical center, we also have an implant bank on site that allows us to quickly deal with virtually any contingency.
How Important Is Rehab After Knee Replacement?
Appropriate therapy and rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery helps restore a patient’s strength, mobility, function, range of motion and stability. Recovery usually takes about three months, but may take longer for some patients. Active participation in physical and occupational therapy is vital to a safe return to normal activities and independence.
Total Joint Replacement Class helps prepare patients for the many aspects of total knee replacement surgery. The class is held regularly and patients are encouraged to bring a relative or friend.
Common Conditions That Can Lead to Knee Replacement
We treat the entire spectrum of knee problems. Many can be treated without surgery, but some may lead to partial or total knee replacement surgery, including:
- Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of knee replacement. It is a chronic, degenerative condition, meaning it will continue to get worse over time. While there are many non-surgical treatment options, partial or total knee replacement may become necessary for some patients with osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis can also lead to the need for knee replacement surgery.
- Avascular Necrosis (bone death) – Avascular necrosis happens when the blood supply to the bone is cut off – temporarily or permanently. This can cause the bone tissue to die, which can affect nearby joints. If avascular necrosis affects the knee, a total knee replacement may be a treatment option.
Other Common Causes of Knee Pain
- Dislocations/complex instability
- Industrial conditions (work-related injuries)
- Torn cartilage/torn ligaments