A total knee replacement involves removing the damaged ends of the bone at the knee joint and replacing them with replacement parts made of both plastic and metal. A knee replacement procedure also replaces the knee cap if it has been damaged by arthritis. The connective tissues, such as the ligaments, may need to be replaced as well, depending on the severity of the injury or damage to the joint. During the procedure, the surgeon removes a small amount of bone from each end of the joint and attaches replacement parts with bone cement. Once the joint has been replaced, the surgeon closes the incision and the rehabilitation and healing process begins.
A knee arthroplasty or total knee replacement procedure involves removing a portion of bone and replacing it with plastic and metal parts. The healing time following surgery is variable based on the extent of the surgery and the amount of arthritis present in the joint before surgery. In general, most patients will be back to light activity at 6-8 weeks and most activities around 3-6 months. Even though the area is in the process of healing, surgeons encourage continued movement of the joint, including light exercise and walking as early as the day of surgery. Mild forms of exercise actually strengthen the bone, and encourage it to heal, hastening the process. As the joint and surrounding muscles become stronger following surgery, the person is able to graduate to a higher level of activity.
Physical therapy and home exercise is a must after a total knee replacement procedure. Physical therapy and home exercise help to rebuild strength in muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the knee joint as a whole. Exercising the joint within a few hours of the procedure helps to reduce the inflammation and increase the range of motion almost immediately. This increases blood flow to the area and provides the tissues around the area of surgery with oxygen and nutrients that are essential to the healing process. Keeping the joint moving from day one after surgery can help prevent stiffness, which can slow a full and successful recovery.
At Active Orthopaedics, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"Dr. Carlson was courteous and practical, and ready to propose options. Despite the late Friday hour, he also spent extra time with me to discuss about other concerns."
"I'm walking better than I have in months after my knee surgery. I'd definitely see Dr. Kaplan again should the need arise."