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Total Knee Replacement

What is a Total Knee Replacement?

A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the diseased knee joint is replaced with artificial material. The knee is a hinge joint which provides motion at the point where the thigh meets the lower leg. The knee joint is the largest and most complex and therefore the most stressed joint in the body.

Total knee replacement is known as one of the most successful surgical procedures in the field of surgery, and can help those with arthritis and other conditions affecting the knee reduce pain, increase range of motion, feel more comfortable standing and walking, and develop better strength in the knee area.

What patients should consider a total knee replacement?

Total knee replacement surgery is considered for patients whose knee joints have been damaged by:

      • Osteoarthritis


      • Arthritis


    • Trauma

Regardless of the cause of the damage to the joint, the resulting progressively increasing pain and stiffness and decreasing daily function lead the patient to consider total knee replacement. Decisions regarding whether or when to undergo knee replacement surgery are not easy.

Knee replacement is typically performed on patients who suffer from the debilitating affects of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, which ultimately cause inflammation and eventual destruction of cartilage. Knee replacement surgery – whether total or partial – is an effective treatment for degenerative arthritis in the knee joint.A number of other factors also contribute to joint disease including genetics, developmental abnormalities, repetitive injuries and obesity.

Surgical Procedure

Knee Replacement Surgery:

Severe cases of osteoarthritis may require surgery to alleviate symptoms and restore joint function. Through a procedure known as total knee replacement, the surgeon can remove debris floating within the joint and replace the diseased knee joint with a prosthetic implant. The implant imitates the function and feeling of a natural knee, and alleviates the pain associated with bone-on-bone friction caused by arthritis.

During a knee replacement procedure, the knee surgeon will cut and resurface the bottom of the femur and the top of the tibia. These bones receive new metal and plastic surfaces, which articulate with one another, and replicate the function of a healthy knee.

Partial Knee Replacement:

Some patients, whose arthritis is limited to only one compartment of the knee, may be eligible for partial knee replacement. This procedure preserves more healthy bone, potentially leading to a more natural feeling joint replacement. In cases where the implant requires revision, partial knee replacement increases the likelihood of a successful joint revision procedure.

The Oxford® Partial Knee implant from Biomet Orthopedics is a partial knee implant designed to repair only one side of the knee (the medial side), making it much smaller than a total knee implant. Knee osteoarthritis usually occurs first in the medial (inside) portion of the joint. In knees that are otherwise healthy, a partial knee implant procedure can preserve the healthy bone, cartilage, and ligaments, potentially preventing or delaying the need for total knee replacement.

In patients with only limited knee arthritis, known as medial compartment arthritis, surgeons may elect to perform a partial knee replacement. Some advantages of the Oxford® partial knee replacement are that it removes 75% less bone and cartilage, is less painful, enables a more rapid recovery, and provides more natural motion when compared to a total knee replacement.

Physical Therapy after knee replacement surgery:

Knee replacement surgery is very successful, but the success of the procedure is partly due to the rehabilitation period that follows the surgery. For patients to expect a good result from knee replacement surgery, they must be active in a physical therapy program.

Rehabilitation after knee replacement begins immediately. Patients will work with a physical therapist as soon as the surgical procedure has been performed. The emphasis in the early stages of rehab is to maintain motion of the knee replacement and to ensure that the patient can walk safely. The body reacts to surgery by making scar tissue, and patients may never recover normal motion if they do not focus on bending and straightening their knee replacement. At OrthopaedicCare Specialists we will recommend a team of highly skilled Physical Therapists to help you during the healing process.

Patients can usually expect a recovery period of about three months to allow the knee to heal properly.

Our Board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Orthopaedic Care Specialists, are joint replacement specialist. They have performed countless knee replacement procedures. Orthopaedic Care Specialists utilizes the latest technological advances in performing knee replacement surgeries. For more information please give our office a call at: (561) 840-1090.