What is knee athroscopy?
What is osteoarthritis and why does my knee hurt?
Joint cartilage is a tough, smooth tissue the covers the end of the bones
where joints are located. It helps cushion the bones during movement,
and because it is smooth and slippery, it allows for motion with minimal
friction. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a wear
and tear condition that destroys join cartilage. Sometimes as the result
of trauma, repetitive movement, or for no apparent reason, the cartilage
wears down, exposing bone ends. This can occur quickly over months or
may take years to occur. Cartilage destruction can result in painful bone-on-bone
contact, along with swelling and loss of motion. Osteoarthritis usually
occurs later in life and may affect only one joint or many joints.
What is total knee replacement?
A total knee replacement is really a bone and cartilage replacement with
an artificial surface. The knee itself is not replaced as commonly thought,
but rather an implant is inserted on the bone ends. This is done with
a metal alloy in the femur (thigh bone) and plastic spacer on the tibia
(lower leg bone) and patella (knee cap). This creates a new, smooth cushion
and functioning joint that can reduce or eliminate pain.
What are the results of total knee replacement?
Results will vary depending on the quality of the surrounding tissue, the
severity of the arthritis at the time of surgery, the patient's activity
level, and the patient's adherence to the doctor's orders.
When should I have this type of surgery?
Your orthopedic surgeon will decide if you are a candidate for the surgery.
The decision will be based on your history, exam, x-rays, and response
to conservative treatment.
Am I too old for this surgery?
Age is generally not an issue if you are in reasonable health and have
the desire to continue living a productive, active life. You may be asked
to see your personal physician for his/her opinion about your general
health and readiness for surgery.
How long will my new knee last?
All implants have a limited life expectancy depending on the individual's
age, weight, activity level, and other medical condition(s). A total joint
implants longevity will vary in every patient. It is important to remember
that an implant is a medical device subject to wear that may lead to mechanical
failure. While it is important to follow all of your surgeon's recommendations
after surgery, there is no guarantee that your particular implant will
last for any specific length of time.
Why might I require a revision?
Just as your original joint wears out, a joint replacement will wear over
time as well. The most common reason for revision is loosening of the
artificial surface from the bone. Wearing of the plastic spacer may also
result in the need for a new spacer. Your surgeon will explain the possible
complications associated with a total knee replacement.
What are the major risks?
Most surgeries go well, without any complications. Infection and blood
clots are two serious complications. To avoid these complications, your
surgeon may use antibiotics and blood thinners. Surgeons also take special
precautions in the operating room to reduce the risk of infections.
Should I exercise before the surgery?
Yes, you should consult your surgeon and physical therapist about the exercise
appropriate for you. The more prepared you are for surgery the better
the potential recovery. Strengthening your entire body may help you perform
daily activities after your knee surgery.
Will I need blood?
You may need blood after the surgery. You may use the community blood supply,
have your relatives donate for you or donate you own blood, if you are able.
How long will I be incapacitated?
You will probably stay in bed the day of your surgery. However, the next
morning patients will get up, sit in a chair or recliner, and should be
walking with a walker or crutches later that day. This program stresses
early, extensive physical activity to help you prepare to go home.
How long will I be in the hospital?
Most knee patients will be hospitalized for three days after surgery. There
are several goals that must be achieved before discharge.