• Knee replacement

Set an end to knee pain and immobility!


What is osteoarthritis, and why does my knee hurt?

In the knee joint, there is a layer of smooth carti­lage on the lower end of the femur (thigh bone), the upper end of the tibia (shin bone), and the un­der-sur­face of the knee­cap (patella). This carti­lage serves as a cushion and allows for smooth motion of the knee. Osteo­ar­thri­tis is cau­sed by wear­ing away of this smooth carti­lage. Even­tual­ly, it wears down to bone. Rub­bing of bone against bone causes dis­com­fort, swell­ing, stiff­ness and pain.

What causes osteoarthritis?

Age is a significant factor in the de­creas­ing abili­ty of the carti­lage to heal. Re­search has shown that wo­men are more like­ly to de­velop osteo­artri­tis of the knee than men. Obesi­ty can cer­tain­ly be a major fac­tor: having to carry too much extra weight puts a strain on knee joints, making the carti­lage wear out much quick­er than it nor­mal­ly would. Cer­tain occu­pa­tions that con­tain stress­ful acti­vi­ty on the knee joint, such as kneel­ing and squatt­ing can be a fac­tor as well, Final­ly, if you've ever had an knee in­jury, espe­cial­ly torn knee carti­lage that requi­red surg­ery, you could be more prone to get­ting knee re­place­ment.

What are the symptoms?

Pain is the primary, classic symptom. It can make your knee feel sore and achy. Knee pain can be­come more in­tense when you move your knee, such as when you sit down or walk, and it may be­come more no­tice­able after pro­longed use. You may also notice a creak­ing, crack­ly sound when exer­cis­ing your knee. Swell­ing and stiff­ness are other com­mon symp­toms; they can make your knee joint feel diffi­cult to bend or straight­en. Your knee may also "lock up", pre­vent­ing you from easily bend­ing or straight­en­ing it. If any of these symp­toms per­sist, it may be time to schedule an appoint­ment (link opens in a new window) with one of our special­ists, to assess the status and health of your knee.

What is a 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 is common­ly thought, but rather an arti­ficial sub­sti­tute for the carti­lage, or implant, is insert­ed on the end of the bones. This is done with a metal im­plant on the femur/tibia and a plas­tic spac­er in bet­ween and under the knee­cap. This creates a new, smooth cush­ion and a func­tion­ing joint that does not hurt.

What results can you expect?

Results will vary depend­ing on the qua­li­ty of the sur­round­ing tis­sue, the sever­ity of the arthri­tis at the time of sur­gery, your acti­vi­ty level and – not en­tire­ly un­im­por­tant either – on your adhe­ren­ce to doc­tor's orders for re­habi­li­ta­tion after the sur­gery.
In general, 90-95% of patients achieve good to ex­cel­lent re­sults, with re­lief of pain and dis­com­fort, and sig­nifi­cantly in­creas­ed activi­ty and mobi­lity. Age is not a prob­lem if you are in rea­son­able health and have the de­sire to con­tinue liv­ing an active and pro­duc­tive life.
All implants have a limited life expectancy, largely depending on a person's age, weight, activity level and general medical condition. A total joint implant is a mecha­nical device sub­ject to wear that can lead to mech­ani­cal fail­ure. Its long­evi­ty will vary in every patient. It is there­fore also very impor­tant to fol­low the advice given by our ortho­pe­dic special­ists.

The process and the team.

Choosing to have knee replace­ment sur­gery is a long pro­cess, that al­ready began when you first start­ed feel­ing pain and immo­bility, and comes to a con­clu­sion after con­sult­ing with our spec­ial­ists, who use state-of-the-art tech­no­logy to "look into" your knee and assess the status and need for sur­gery. There are three phases in­volv­ed: pre-opera­tive, opera­tive and re­covery, each with its own spe­cial­ized team. And you're always the team member at the center! From the day you check in at our hos­pi­tal to dis­charge, you have to reckon with a 7-days (6 nights) stay.
The pre-opera­tive phase starts on the day after you check in, and con­sists of knee ass­ess­ment by an ortho­pedic physi­cian, fol­lo­wed by ex­ten­sive labo­ra­tory and medi­cal tests to ascer­tain every safe­ty as­pect of an up­com­ing sur­gery. If all test re­sults say "go", surgery is sched­uled on the 3rd day, fol­lowed by three days of re­habi­li­ta­tion. Alrea­dy a short time after you re­turn to the hospi­tal floor from sur­gery, our nurs­ing staff will assist you in walk­ing. Physi­cal the­ra­py will begin the next mor­ning, and you will al­ready be walk­ing with a walker later that day.

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