Total Knee Arthroplasty
Total Knee Arthroplasty Procedure
The total knee replacement procedure is performed in a hospital under spinal, or general anesthesia. During the procedure, an incision is made in the knee to access the joint so the damaged bone and cartilage can be removed. Once the damaged tissue is removed, the prosthetic device is inserted and is usually cemented into place with a bone cement. A plastic spaced is inserted between the femur and tibia components. The patella is usually resurfaced as well.
Recovery From Total Knee Arthroplasty
A short hospital stay is likely, varying a bit depending on the type of procedure performed and the overall health of the patient. Patients usually experience immediate relief from the joint pain suffered before the replacement. However, there will be some post-operative discomfort that can be managed with prescribed pain medication.
Physical therapy starts in the hospital, as soon as possible after surgery, either the same day or next day, to ensure rapid healing and restoration of function. Most patients are discharged directly to home from the hospital with Visiting Nurses and Physical Therapy in their home. Occasionally, inpatient rehabilitation is needed before return to home.
Patients in physical therapy progress from taking steps with a walker or crutches to walking without assistive devices on stairs and slopes. Patients are also given exercises to perform at home to reinforce the rehabilitative process.
Risks Of Total Knee Arthroplasty
Although considered a safe procedure for most patients, there are certain risks associated with all surgery. These risks include: infection, excessive bleeding, blood clots, buildup of excessive scar tissue, limited range of motion, nerve damage, implant rejection, and death, to name a few. For the great majority of patients, total knee arthroplasty is successful and uneventful, providing effective pain relief and greatly improved quality of life.