Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure where the worn out surfaces of the knee are resurfaced with metal and plastic components. Over time, the cartilage that cushions the bones can wear away, cause pain and discomfort, and make simple pleasures like walking and shopping unbearable.
Knee replacement surgery may be considered for those suffering from arthritic knee pain that severely limits the activities of daily living. It is only recommended after careful examination and diagnosis of your particular joint problem, and only after more conservative measures such as exercise, physical therapy, and medications have proven ineffective.
There are many kinds and designs of knee implants available today, and no one design or type is best for every patient. Surgeons select the implant they believe is best for their patient's needs based on a number of factors including age, activity level, the implant's track record, and his or her comfort with the instruments associated with the particular implant. If you have specific questions regarding implants, your surgeon will be happy to answer them.
With improvements in surgical techniques and post-op care, it is now common for many patients to be able to go home from the hospital after one to two days. If you have both knees replaced at the same time, the stay can be a day or two longer.
Of course, each patient is different, but the goal should be for you to recover in the comfort and privacy of your own home as soon as possible.
Recovery can vary from person to person, but most people will need to use an ambulation aid such as a walker for 4 weeks or so. Most people will be in the hospital one or two days, though some patients, particularly those who live alone, may need to spend a few days at a rehabilitation center or nursing home.
Just give us a call. We are happy to answer any questions you have. And be sure to ask us about our upcoming seminars on knee and hip pain - we'd love to see you!
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