Total Knee Replacement
Knee replacement surgery can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. The knee is the largest joint in the body, and one of the easiest to injure. The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is to repair joint damage caused by osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
You might consider knee replacement if you're experiencing knee pain that:
- Persists, despite pain medication.
- Worsens with walking, even with a cane or walker.
- Gives you moderate or severe pain when at rest.
- Affects your ability to go up or down stairs.
- Makes it difficult to rise from a seated position.
During knee replacement, your surgeon will cut away damaged bone and cartilage and replace it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers.
After The Procedure
Depending on your overall health and activity level, you will either have a brief hospital stay or be able to go home on the day of surgery. Most patients require the use of a walking aid (walker or crutches) for about 2-3 weeks. By 6 weeks out from surgery, most patients are walking 1-1.5 miles a day with minimal pain and no limp. Most people resume their normal activities by this time — even if in a limited fashion. Further recovery with improving strength will often occur for six to 12 months. Expect your new knee joint to reduce the pain you felt before your surgery and increase the range of motion in your joint. But don't expect to do everything you couldn't do before surgery. High-impact activities — such as running or playing basketball — may be too stressful on your artificial joint. But in time, you may be able to swim, play golf, hike or ride a bike comfortably.