With more than a million people undergoing knee replacement surgery every year and a steady increase in that number predicted in the future, there’s little doubt that this procedure improves quality of life and eases chronic pain. At Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the experienced, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons use the most advanced techniques to perform total and partial knee replacement to help you return to your activities. Call the office or use the provided online link to find out whether knee replacement is right for you.
Knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is surgery to replace badly damaged parts of your knee with new metal and plastic components.
During your knee replacement, your surgeon at Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa restores up to three bone surfaces, including the end of your thigh bone, the top of your shin bone, and the back of your kneecap.
You might need knee replacement if you struggle with severe knee pain and mobility issues. The main reason for knee replacements today is late-stage osteoarthritis, a disease that breaks down the cartilage covering the ends of your bones.
Other types of arthritis, including rheumatoid and post-traumatic arthritis, may also cause knee damage that warrants a knee replacement.
The first-line approach for knee pain is nonsurgical care, including physical therapy, mobility aids, medication management, and activity modification. But if those measures don’t ease your pain or if you’re unable to live an active life, your surgeon might recommend knee replacement.
Before your procedure, you undergo lab tests, chest X-rays, and an electrocardiogram to make sure you’re healthy enough for surgery. You then need precise knee X-rays to determine the ideal implant sizes for your specific anatomy.
Arthritis almost always damages at least two of the three compartments of the knee — the medial (inside), lateral (outside), and patellofemoral (between the kneecap and thighbone).
In a total knee replacement, your surgeon removes the damaged bone and cartilage in all of these areas and then replaces them with metal and plastic parts that move smoothly together.
In rare cases, arthritis damage may occur in just one part of the knee, usually the medial compartment. In that case, you may qualify for a partial knee replacement, which restores only the affected compartment.
Most people stay in the hospital for 1-3 days after knee replacement surgery. You can expect to use a walker or crutches until the quadriceps muscle that helps to control knee movement heals and returns to normal strength.
Your surgeon may recommend continuous passive motion (CPM) therapy, in which a machine moves the joint in specific ways to prevent stiffness and improve your range of motion. You also participate in physical therapy in the weeks after your surgery.
The goal is to return to a functional range of motion over the first several weeks post-surgery. Within six weeks, most people return to full weight-bearing using a cane.
Total recovery, and a full return to your usual activities, may take three months, possibly longer. Some people notice gradual improvements in the feeling and function of their knee for up to a year or two after surgery.
To learn more about knee replacement and find out how it can help you, call Premier Orthopedic Specialists of Tulsa or use the provided online booking link.