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Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement: Putting It All Together

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 - 16:49

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to knee replacement:

  • Total knee replacement (TKR) is a surgical procedure in which a painful damaged knee joint is replaced by an artificial joint.
  • Osteoarthritis resulting from "wear and tear" of the knee is the most common reason individuals need to undergo knee replacement surgery.
  • The decision to have a knee replacement is based on whether the painful destroyed knee is significantly affecting a persons day to day living.
  • The general goal of total knee replacement is designed to provide painless and unlimited standing, sitting, walking, and other normal activities of daily living
  • Improved surgical tools and procedures have led to artificial joint replacement for arthritis of the hip and knee as two of the most successful surgeries of the last century.
  • The choice of surgical procedure and the type of implant depends on the surgeon's preference and the individual patient's requirements.
  • The artificial implant is fixed to bone by either a cemented procedure or a non-cemented procedure. This will usually affect whether one can fully weight bear or only toe-touch for the first six weeks following surgery.
  • Some of the most common complications following knee replacement are deep venous thrombosis (DVT), infection, stiffness and loosening of the implant.
  • Postoperative care begins with a team approach of heath professionals within the hospital which include nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists and occupational therapists.
  • Once the postoperative total knee patient has progressed to a point where they are no longer homebound from the their surgery, the patient may be a candidate for outpatient physical therapy services.
  • With proper care, individuals who have undergone total knee replacement can expect a greater than ninety-five percent chance of success for at least 15 years.

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