Knee replacement, otherwise known as knee arthroplasty or total knee replacement (TKR), is a surgical procedure that entails substituting damaged bone and missing cartilage with artificial components to restore normal joint function. This form of replacement surgery predominantly serves to alleviate knee pain and restore physical mobility in patients enduring severe knee arthritis or knee injury.
Orthopedic surgeons typically recommend knee replacement surgeries when conservative treatments fail to provide relief, rendering your knee incapable of normal movement, bending, or weight-bearing without severe pain. This post discusses what is knee replacement surgery and how to find an accomplished surgeon for the procedure.
The Primary Goal of Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery seeks to supplant the worn-out surfaces on bone ends that constitute your knee joint with new artificial pieces. These components, usually made from specific metal and specialized polymer (plastic), comprise the prosthesis used in this type of surgery. The artificial knee mimics the feeling and movement of your natural joint, thereby restoring knee function and providing stability for daily activities and select sports exercises.
Knee replacement surgeries have become a common recourse for adults grappling with osteoarthritis or traumatic injuries to the knee. An orthopedic surgeon will evaluate several factors such as age, activity level, and medical history to determine your suitability for this procedure.
During the preoperative assessment, the surgeon may request X-rays or other blood tests to assess the extent of knee damage due to disease or injury, aiding in surgical planning.
What Happens During Knee Replacement Surgery?
Total knee replacement surgery, conducted by an adept orthopedic surgeon, may employ a minimally invasive technique. This method involves smaller incisions around the knee, with a focus on preserving the muscles and ligaments around the joint.
During the surgery, the surgeon excises diseased or damaged cartilage and tissue, and then positions caps over the end of the femur (thigh bone) and on the top of the tibia (shin bone). This is comparable to placing caps or crowns over a tooth. Subsequently, the doctor installs a gliding surface as a cushion for the joint’s range of motion.
Post-surgery, the bones no longer endure the friction causing chronic knee pain, inflammation, and stiffness that significantly impairs a patient’s quality of life. The surgeon may also place a polymer button behind the patella (kneecap) to eliminate arthritis in the front of the knee. Damaged supporting or stabilizing tissue is then replaced with special mechanical pieces.
Incorporating Advanced Technology: MAKOplasty Joint Replacement Surgery
MAKOplasty joint replacement exemplifies the latest technology in joint replacement. This robotic-assisted surgery sees the highly skilled orthopedic surgeon guiding a robotic arm to position the artificial parts, ensuring precise placement of the prosthesis. This precision can reduce the likelihood of complications following a partial knee replacement.
Following a recovery period, most patients report a significant improvement in their function. Post knee replacement, patients should be able to rise and walk, albeit with the aid of assistive devices such as a walker, crutches, or cane. As you progress through the recovery process, guided by your doctor and physical therapist, pain relief improves, and mobility returns. It’s crucial to move as advised to avoid stiffness after a knee replacement.
Postoperative Care and Physical Therapy
It’s crucial to adhere to postoperative care guidelines to ensure a smooth recovery and minimize potential complications such as swelling, blood clots, or inflammation. Regular physical therapy and appropriate use of blood thinners can also help manage these risks.
The Best Knee Replacement Surgeon in Raleigh, NC
Dr. Brett J. Gilbert is a board-certified hip and knee replacement surgeon serving Raleigh, Apex, and Durham. He is highly trained and experienced in the most advanced and specialized surgical techniques, including MAKOplasty joint replacement, to give our patients the best possible outcomes.
At your appointment, Dr. Gilbert will determine and discuss with you if your knee replacement surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure, or if you need an overnight stay. You have the support of our caring staff who are equally committed to your comfort and successful recovery.
To consult with Dr. Gilbert about a knee replacement, call our office today at (919) 788-8797 or use our convenient appointment request form. We look forward to being your partner on your road to better knee health!