Total Knee Arthroplasty
A knee replacement, also known as a total knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint as a means of relieving pain and disability usually associated with osteoarthritis, but also related to other knee conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
Although it is called a knee replacement, the process of replacing the knee really means resurfacing the ends of the bones that come together to form the knee joint. There are caps that are placed over the end of the thigh bone (femur) and on the top of the shin bone (tibia), similar to the process of placing a crown on a tooth. Between these two pieces, a special gliding surface is positioned as the new cushion for movement, so that the bones in the knee are no longer rubbing together. Behind the kneecap, a special polymer button is usually placed to remove any arthritis in the front of the knee as well.
Typically, we rely on your ligaments to stabilize a knee replacement, just like they are supposed to stabilize your own knee. If your knee has a severe deformity due to long-term osteoarthritis, advanced rheumatoid arthritis, or trauma, knee replacement surgery may prove to be more complicated: a special mechanical pieces may be required to substitute or compensate for your ligaments, or to rebuild areas where bone has been worn away.
Put simply, a total knee replacement entails the resurfacing of diseased or damaged joint surfaces in the knee with metal and plastic components that are designed to relieve pain and restore the function in your knee.
As with other procedures, using specialized surgical techniques and accelerated recovery pathways, knee replacement surgery is now routinely done with just an overnight hospital stay, or as an outpatient procedure with the ability to safely return home with your new knee on the same day as the operative procedure.
The procedure itself requires vigorous postoperative physical therapy to obtain a speedy recovery and optimize results. Outpatient physical therapists will be key members of the team, as they will routinely be checking on your progress and coaching you along, as will Dr. Gilbert and the other members of our orthopedic team.
As a hip and knee replacement specialist, Dr. Brett J. Gilbert is uniquely qualified to diagnose your joint pain, recommend the appropriate course of action, and perform the knee replacement surgery that provides the best possible outcome.
To request a consultation with Dr. Gilbert, call our practice at (919) 788-8797 or schedule an appointment online.