7 Facts You Want to Know About a Knee Replacement Surgery
What is a knee replacement?
Is a surgery created to replace the surfaces supporting the weight of the knee joint. The orthopedic surgeon cuts damage bone, cartilage and ligaments and replace them with an artificial joint made of a metal component composed by cobalt, chromium or titanium and a plastic piece made of polyethylene. A total knee replacement, replaces the whole joint, a partial knee replacement only replaces the affected area. Even tough a partial knee replacement can be done utilizing minimally invasive techniques, (recovery is actually faster) only a minimal percentage of patients – 6% to 10% – are ideal candidates for it.
Why should I do it?
To improve mobility and reduce the pain caused by arthritis or an injury. A knee replacement is like replacing an old tire for a new one when its no longer useful.
Medicare and most of private insurance companies cover knee replacements. Hospital and surgery fees vary depending on the state you are in and the facilities. Hospital fees include the prostesis, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, medical fees and therapy fees. A partial knee replacement is approximately half of a total knee replacement.
Choosing the right orthopedic surgeon
A study conducted in 2004 by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery revealed that patients operated by orthopedic surgeons with a record of 50 knee replacements a year or more had less chances of complications during surgery than those with a record of 12 or less a year. When choosing an orthopedic surgeon is also important to research for revision and infection rates. This is one of the reasons why Dr. Mead, with more than 20 years of experience and excellent numbers, have become one of the top orthopedic surgeons in the country as well as in Naples, Florida where he practices.
Generally, after a total knee replacement, patients must remain in the hospital for three days. After a partial knee replacement, patients only need to remain for one. There is no need for a cast. The knee is covered at the incision for protection. After a total knee replacement, patients usually need to assist a rehabilitation center for a short period of time. Once they return home, assistance must continue in order to improve the healing process. This process may vary depending on the patient. However, expect some discomfort for a week. After this period, physical therapy must start. Probably you will need two months of therapy to recover. This is very important. If you do not follow therapy your knee will become stiff and unable to recover. After a partial knee replacement, expect two to four weeks of therapy.
Getting back to work
It all depends on your type of job. If you work behind a desk, you can go back in two weeks. If your job involves hard labor, reintegration could take several months.
Set real expectations
A knee replacement is definitively a great solution for patients suffering constant pain due to arthritis or an injury. However, it is not designed to make you younger and/or perform activities that may injure you again. With that in mind, you are going to be able to return to living a normal live with no pain. It is always important to ask your doctor about the kind of things you will be able to do after the surgery. Remember, we are also here to help so give us a call if you need assistance.
Orthopedic Corner | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201 Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119