What You Need to Know About Knee Replacement Surgery

The knee joints suffer a substantial amount of stress throughout a lifetime, and many adults will experience chronic knee pain and stiffness as a result. If you are among the hundreds of thousands of adults struggling with knee pain in your daily life, you may be considering knee replacement surgery as a treatment option. Most knee replacement surgeries are total knee replacements, in which the entire joint is resurfaced with metal and plastic pieces designed to function similarly to bones and cartilage. This type of surgery has a high success rate over periods of 10-20 years, after which time a secondary surgery may become necessary.

When surgery is needed

Injuries and arthritis are the leading causes of damage that would warrant knee replacement surgery. When the symptoms of these conditions become a disruption in your daily life and are not managed through other treatments, knee replacement is often the best option. Knee replacement is always considered an elective procedure, but it can make a big difference in your quality of life.

What happens during surgery

In total knee replacement , the rough and damaged structures in the knee will be removed and replaced with a metal covering on the end of the thighbone and a plastic covering on the end of the shinbone. A plastic cap may also be placed on the back of the kneecap to facilitate a smoother motion in the knee joint.

What to expect in recovery

Your rehabilitation after knee surgery will begin fairly immediately after your operation. During a 3-5 day hospital stay, you will work with a physical therapist to perform weight-bearing exercises that will promote proper healing. You may need to walk with a cane or walker initially, but you will continue to build strength and flexibility with ongoing physical therapy in an outpatient setting.

Are you struggling with knee pain and stiffness? With the Total Joint Care Program at West Hills Hospital, you can expect exceptional personalized care to help you move forward pain-free. For an orthopedic physician referral at our hospital, call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (818) 676-4321 or visit us online.

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