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This option is suitable only if the arthritis is limited to one compartment of the knee. Osteotomy involves cutting and repositioning one of the bones around the knee joint. This is done to re-orient the loads that occur with normal walking and running so that these loads pass through a non-arthritic portion of the knee. It removes all motion from the knee resulting in a stiff-legged gait. Because there are so many operations that preserve motion this older procedure is seldom performed as a first-line option for patients with knee arthritis.

It is sometimes used for severe infections of the knee certain tumors and patients who are too young for joint replacement but are otherwise poor candidates for osteotomy. Patients who are of appropriate age--certainly older than age 40 and older is better--and who have osteoarthritis limited to one compartment of the knee may be candidates for an exciting new surgical technique minimally-invasive partial knee replacement mini knee. The new surgical approach which uses a much smaller incision than traditional total knee replacement significantly decreases the amount of post-operative pain and shortens the rehabilitation period.

The decision of whether this procedure is appropriate for a specific patient can only be made in consultation with a skillful orthopedic surgeon who is experienced in all techniques of knee replacement. Minimally-invasive partial knee replacement mini knee is not for everyone. Only certain patterns of knee arthritis are appropriately treated with this device through the smaller approach.

Generally speaking patients with inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus and patients with diffuse arthritis all throughout the knee should not receive partial knee replacements. Patients who are considering knee replacements should ask their surgeon whether minimally-invasive partial knee replacement mini knee is right for them. Not all surgical cases are the same, this is only an example to be used for patient education.

It is most suitable for middle-aged and older people who have arthritis in more than one compartment of the knee and who do not intend to return to high-impact athletics or heavy labor. In the video below, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Seth Leopold demonstrates minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and discusses the benefits to patients.

This University of Washington program follows a patient through the whole process, from pre-op to post-op. Current evidence suggests that when total knee replacements are done well in properly selected patients success is achieved in the large majority of patients and the implant serves the patient well for many years. Many studies show that percent of total knee replacements are still functioning well 10 years after surgery. Most patients walk without a cane, most can do stairs and arise from chairs normally, and most resume their desired level of recreational activity.

In the event that a total knee replacement requires re-operation sometime in the future, it almost always can be revised re-done successfully. However, results of revision knee replacement are typically not as good as first-time knee replacements. There is good evidence that the experience of the surgeon correlates with outcome in total knee replacement surgery. It is therefore important that the surgeon performing the technique be not just a good orthopedic surgeon, but a specialist in knee replacement surgery.

Total knee replacement is elective surgery. With few exceptions it does not need to be done urgently and can be scheduled around important life-events. Like any major surgical procedure total knee replacement is associated with certain medical risks. Although major complications are uncommon they may occur. Possible complications include blood clots, bleeding, and anesthesia-related or medical risks such as cardiac risks, stroke, and in rare instances, large studies have calculated the risk to be less than 1 in death.

Risks specific to knee replacement include infection which may result in the need for more surgery , nerve injury, the possibility that the knee may become either too stiff or too unstable to enjoy it, a chance that pain might persist or new pains might arise , and the chance that the joint replacement might not last the patient's lifetime or might require further surgery. However, while the list of complications is long and intimidating, the overall frequency of major complications following total knee replacement is low, usually less than 5 percent one in Obviously the overall risk of surgery is dependent both on the complexity of the knee problem but also on the patient's overall medical health.

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Many of the major problems that can occur following a total knee replacement can be treated. The best treatment though is prevention. An orthopedic surgeon will use antibiotics before, during, and after surgery to minimize the likelihood of infection.

Your physician will take steps to decrease the likelihood of blood clots with early patient mobilization and use of blood-thinning medications in some patients. Good surgical technique can help minimize the knee-specific risks. So, choosing a fellowship-trained and experienced knee replacement surgeon is important.

Again the overall likelihood of a severe complication is typically less than 5 percent when such steps are taken. Patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery usually will undergo a pre-operative surgical risk assessment.


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When necessary, further evaluation will be performed by an internal medicine physician who specializes in pre-operative evaluation and risk-factor modification. Some patients will also be evaluated by an anesthesiologist in advance of the surgery. Routine blood tests are performed on all pre-operative patients. Chest X-rays and electrocardiograms are obtained in patients who meet certain age and health criteria as well. Surgeons will often spend time with the patient in advance of the surgery, making certain that all the patient's questions and concerns, as well as those of the family, are answered.

The total knee requires an experienced orthopedic surgeon and the resources of a large medical center. Some patients have complex medical needs and around surgery often require immediate access to multiple medical and surgical specialties and in-house medical, physical therapy, and social support services. There is good evidence that the experience of the surgeon performing partial knee replacement affects the outcome. It is important that the surgeon be an experienced--and preferably fellowship-trained--knee replacement surgeon. A large hospital usually with academic affiliation and equipped with state-of-the-art radiologic imaging equipment and medical intensive care unit is clearly preferable in the care of patients with knee arthritis.

Total knee replacement surgery begins by performing a sterile preparation of the skin over the knee to prevent infection. This is followed by inflation of a tourniquet to prevent blood loss during the operation. Next, specialized alignment rods and cutting jigs are used to remove enough bone from the end of the femur thigh bone , the top of the tibia shin bone , and the underside of the patella kneecap to allow placement of the joint replacement implants.

Proper sizing and alignment of the implants, as well as balancing of the knee ligaments, all are critical for normal post-operative function and good pain relief. Again, these steps are complex and considerable experience in total knee replacement is required in order to make sure they are done reliably, case after case. Provisional trial implant components are placed without bone cement to make sure they fit well against the bones and are well aligned. At this time, good function--including full flexion bend , extension straightening , and ligament balance--is verified.

Finally, the bone is cleaned using saline solution and the joint replacement components are cemented into place using polymethylmethacrylate bone cement. The surgical incision is closed using stitches and staples. Total knee replacement may be performed under epidural, spinal, or general anesthesia. We usually prefer epidural anesthesia since a good epidural can provide up to 48 hours of post-operative pain relief and allow faster more comfortable progress in physical therapy. No two knee replacements are alike and there is some variability in operative times.

A typical total knee replacement takes about 80 minutes to perform. Whenever possible we use an epidural catheter a very thin flexible tube placed into the lower back at the time of surgery to manage post-operative discomfort. This device is similar to the one that is used to help women deliver babies more comfortably. As long as the epidural is providing good pain control we leave it in place for two days after surgery.

After the epidural is removed pain pills usually provide satisfactory pain control. Patients with a good epidural can expect to walk with crutches or a walker and to take the knee through a near-full range of motion starting on the day after surgery.

Aquatic Therapy Rehabilitation for Total Knee Replacement

Following discharge from the hospital most patients will take oral pain medications--usually Percocet Vicoden or Tylenol for one to three weeks after the procedure mainly to help with physical therapy and home exercises for the knee. Aggressive rehabilitation is desirable following this procedure and a high level of patient motivation is important in order to get the best possible result.

Oral pain medications help this process in the weeks following the surgery. Most patients take some narcotic pain medication for between 2 and 6 weeks after surgery. Patients should not drive while taking these kinds of medications. While any surgical procedure is associated with post-operative discomfort most patients who have had the total knee replacements say that the pain is very manageable with the pain medications and the large majority look back on the experience and find that the pain relief given by knee replacement is well worth the discomfort that follows this kind of surgery.

Physical therapy is started on the day of surgery in the hospital or the very next day after the operation. Patients are encouraged to walk and to bear as much weight on the leg as they are comfortable doing. Range-of-motion exercises are initiated on the day of surgery or the next morning. The physical therapist should be an integral member of the health care team.

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Knee Surgery

The average hospital stay after total knee replacement is three days and most patients spend several more days in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. Patients who prefer not to have inpatient rehabilitation may spend an extra day or two in the hospital before discharge to home. We recommend inpatient rehabilitation for most patients to assist them with recovery from surgery. The average stay in a rehab unit is about 5 days. This is especially important for older patients and individuals who live alone. These arrangements are made prior to hospital discharge.

Patients are encouraged to walk as normally as possible immediately following total knee replacements. Most people use crutches or a walker for several weeks to a month following total knee replacements and then a cane for a couple of weeks beyond that. Patients should not resume driving until they feel their reflexes are completely normal and until they feel they can manipulate the control pedals of the vehicle without guarding from knee discomfort.

Certainly patients should not drive while taking narcotic-based pain medications. On average patients are able to drive between three and six weeks after the surgery. Following hospital discharge or discharge from inpatient rehabilitation patients who undergo total knee replacement will participate in either home physical therapy or outpatient physical therapy at a location close to home. The length of physical therapy varies based upon patient age fitness and level of motivation but usually lasts for about six to eight weeks. Two to three therapy sessions per week are average for this procedure.

Precautions To Take After A Total Knee Replacement Surgery - Manipal Hospitals

At first physical therapy includes range-of-motion exercises and gait training supervised walking with an assistive device like a cane crutches or walker. As those things become second nature strengthening exercises and transition to normal walking without assistive devices are encouraged. All patients are given a set of home exercises to do between supervised physical therapy sessions and the home exercises make up an important part of the recovery process. However, supervised therapy--which is best done in an outpatient physical therapy studio--is extremely helpful and those patients who are able to attend outpatient therapy are encouraged to do so.

For patients who are unable to attend outpatient physical therapy, home physical therapy is arranged. Most people walk using crutches or a walker for weeks then use a cane for about more weeks. Sometime between one and two months post-operatively most, patients are able to walk without assistive devices. Most patients obtain and keep at least 90 degrees of motion bending the knee to a right angle by the second week after surgery and most patients ultimately get more than degrees of knee motion. Most patients can return to sedentary desk jobs by about weeks; return to more physical types of employment must be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Most patients are back to full activities--without the pain they had before surgery--by about three months after the operation. The goal of total knee replacement is to return patients to a high level of function without knee pain.

Knee surgery : the essential guide to total knee recovery / Daniel Fulham O'Neill - Details - Trove

The large majority of patients are able to achieve this goal. However, since the joint replacement components have no capacity to heal damage from injury sustained after surgery we offer some common-sense guidelines for athletic leisure and workplace activities:. Since the joint replacement includes a bearing surface which potentially can wear, walking or running for fitness are not recommended.

Some patients feel well enough to do this and so need to exercise judgment in order to prolong the life-span of the implant materials. Jan 03, Kathy added it. Helpful for anyone preparing to have knee surgery. Info on what to expect And exercises to do after surgery. Jul 06, Debbie Bayne rated it really liked it.

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