Your knee is an extremely complex joint tasked with carrying your bodyweight day in and day out. This can lead to a lot of daily wear and tear on the components of your knees. Knees are vulnerable to certain injuries and conditions such as torn ligaments, damaged cartilage, or even osteoarthritis. When your knee is unable to support your weight, causes a loss of range of motion, or it is too painful to walk or stand, it may be time for a partial or even a total knee replacement.
Are you a Candidate for a Total Knee Replacement?
The only person who can determine if you need a partial or total knee replacement is a qualified orthopedic surgeon, and the choice ultimately comes down to the patient. Your doctor will likely take certain factors into consideration when making the suggestion for a joint replacement procedure.
These considerations may include:
· Severe pain that affects your day to day quality of life
· Loss of the normal range of motion, or loss of knee function
· Other medications and therapies such as braces, injections, and medications have not worked
· You are otherwise healthy enough for surgery
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 30 million people in the United States have some degree of osteoarthritis in one or more joints. Osteoarthritis is often attributed to wear and tear, and is the leading cause of joint replacement surgeries. Roughly 600,000 knee replacements are performed every year in the United States alone.
Surprisingly, more women than men require knee replacement surgery (females account for 63% of all knee replacement procedures). The number of total knee replacement surgeries are expected to increase as the population ages, with an estimated 3.5 million people having partial or total knee replacements by the year 2030. But this increase isn’t just about a booming generation, it is also attributed to how technological advances have made the procedure less invasive and more attainable.
What to expect in a total knee replacement procedure:
A total knee replacement is a complicated, but commonly performed, surgical procedure. The surgeon will carefully remove, repair, and clean any diseased or otherwise damaged bone, cartilage, or other tissues. The surgeon will begin to methodically remove the components of the affected knee one section at a time, replacing and securing them with an artificial knee joint that will most closely mimic the form and function of your natural knee. You should be prepared to undergo a certain amount of physical therapy after surgery recovery, in order to help strengthen the tissues and regain any lost function.
Most patients report a vast improvement in pain levels, as well as regaining lost function after a total knee replacement. To learn more about a partial or total knee replacement, please call board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bill Hefley at (800) 336-2412 to request an appointment, or request an appointment online.