You often don’t realize just how important a functional knee joint is until it becomes injured or damaged. Even the simplest tasks can be a challenge as everyday function is compromised. If alternative methods to relieve your condition haven’t helped, and you are now considering surgery, be sure to read these basics about knee replacement.
Causes of Knee Replacement
Knee damage is most commonly caused by arthritis. Osteoarthritis typically occurs in those over 50, as the cartilage between bones wears away and causes pain. Chronic inflammation in the joint space results from rheumatoid arthritis, which can eventually lead to cartilage loss. And traumatic arthritis occurs after a previous injury damages the knee joint and wears away cartilage over time.
Types of Knee Replacement
Depending on the extent of the damage, knee replacement surgery can vary. For those who suffer severe pain, inflammation, chronic stiffness, or even have a knee deformity of some kind, a total knee replacement may be considered. This requires replacement of both surfaces of the knee joint and the knee cap. Various implants and devices can provide knee stability and ligament support. A partial knee replacement only requires one side of the joint to be replaced. And minimally invasive knee replacements use small incisions to adjust and repair the knee as needed.
What to Expect During Recovery
After knee surgery, your wound will have stitches for a few weeks and may take some time to heal. You should also expect to be using a crutch, cane or walker. That said, those recovering from knee surgery should expect to gradually resume activity. Be sure to speak to your doctor about what kinds of activities will help rehabilitate your knee and which you should avoid (such as driving) immediately after surgery.
If you have any questions about knee replacement procedures or the recovery process, please contact us at the Medical Center of Arlington. Visit our website or call 817-465-3241.
Total Knee Replacement (AAOS)
Knee Replacement (JAMA)
What Is Knee Replacement? (eHealthMD)