The decision to have total knee joint replacement shouldn't be taken lightly, and is generally only recommended to those patients who are significantly hindered by their knee pain, have suffered loss of mobility, and have not received sufficient pain relief from conservative methods. Most people who receive a full knee joint replacement will regain most of, if not all, their previous mobility and function. The most common reason for knee joint replacement is pain and degeneration due to arthritis. Once the cartilage of the knee wears away due to arthritis, the bones of the joint lose cushioning andrub against each other, causing pain, inflammation, and swelling.
A knee replacement is made of a combination of metal and plastic to best replicate the original function of the knee, and is designed to move and support the body like a healthy knee joint. In recent years, knee implants have improved significantly and now last longer and are designed to help take some of the pressure off the quadriceps muscle; the long muscle at the front of the thigh that aids in the motion and flexion of the knee.
The prosthetic replacement will be attached to the thigh and shin bones to create a proper fit. If needed, your orthopedic surgeon also has the ability to replace the kneecap. The orthopedic surgeon may use bone cement to further secure the replacement into the supporting bones and ligaments.
As with any surgery, there are risks that are inherent to a knee joint replacement. Blood clots and infection at the incision site are the most common, but can often be prevented through medication and proper care.
It is important to follow the post operative instructions from your Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists orthopedic surgeon. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are vital to healing and rebuilding strength after the knee joint replacement surgery. If you have questions regarding your upcoming surgery or are interested in options for your chronic knee pain, speak with your orthopedic surgeon at Arizona Bone and Joint Specialists.