What is Total Knee Replacement?
Total knee replacement, also called total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure in which the worn out or damaged surfaces of the knee joint is removed and replaced with an artificial prosthesis.
Indications for Total Knee Replacement
- Severe knee pain that limits your daily activities (such as walking, getting up from a chair or climbing stairs)
- Moderate-to-severe pain that occurs during rest or awakens you at night
- Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that is not relieved with rest or medications
- Failure to obtain pain relief from medications, injections, physical therapy or other conservative treatments
- A bow-legged knee deformity
Total Knee Replacement Procedure
Postoperative Care Following Total Knee Replacement
Rehabilitation begins immediately following the surgery. A physical therapist will teach you specific exercises to strengthen your leg and restore knee movement. Knee immobilizers are used to stabilize the knee. You will be able to walk with crutches or a walker. A continuous passive motion (CPM) machine can be used to move the knee joint. Continuous passive motion is a device attached to the treated leg that constantly moves the joint through a controlled range of motion, while you are at rest. Your physical therapist will also provide you with a home exercise program to strengthen your thigh and calf muscles.
Risks and Complications of Total Knee Replacement
- Knee stiffness
- Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
- Nerve and blood vessel damage
- Ligament injuries
- Patella (kneecap) dislocation
- Plastic liner wearing out
- Loosening of the implant
What is Arthritis?
Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis
Your doctor will diagnose osteoarthritis based on your medical history, physical examination, and X-rays. X-rays typically show a narrowing of the joint space in the arthritic knee.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis can be treated with conservative and surgical options. Your doctor may recommend surgery if non-surgical treatment options have failed to relieve the symptoms.