You and your Orthopaedic Specialists of New Orleans may consider knee replacement surgery if you have a stiff, painful knee that makes it difficult to perform even the simplest of activities and other treatments are no longer working. This surgery is generally reserved for people over the age of 50 with severe osteoarthritis.
What does Knee Replacement Surgery Involve?
Knee replacement surgery involves removing all or part of the knee joint and replacing the damaged parts with an artificial joint. These are made of metals and plastics. Although it may take months to recover fully, depending on the extent of your surgery, the relief it provides can last many years or even a lifetime.
It may be time to have knee replacement surgery if you have:
- Severe knee pain that limits your everyday activities;
- Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, day or night;
- Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that doesn’t improve with rest or medications;
- Knee deformity: a bowing in or out of your leg;
- Knee stiffness: inability to bend and straighten your knee;
- No pain relief from NSAIDs.
Or if you:
- Can’t walk more than a few blocks without significant pain;
- Need a cane or walker;
- Don’t improve with other treatments;
- Can’t tolerate pain medications.
During the Surgery
During the procedure, your knee is in a bent position so that all surfaces of the joint are fully exposed. After making an incision about 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 centimeters) in length, your orthopaedic surgeon moves aside your kneecap and cuts away the damaged joint surfaces.
After the joint surfaces are prepared, your New Orleans orthopaedic surgeon inserts and attaches the pieces of the artificial joint. Before closing the incision, he or she bends and rotates your knee, testing and balancing it to ensure that it functions properly. Expect knee replacement surgery to last about two hours.
Most people who have a knee replacement experience significant pain relief, improved mobility and a better overall quality of life. Four to six weeks after knee replacement surgery, you generally can resume most normal daily activities such as shopping and light housekeeping.
After the Surgery
Driving is also possible at around four weeks if you can bend your knee far enough to sit in a car and you have enough muscle control to properly operate the brakes and accelerator.
After you’ve recovered, you can enjoy a variety of low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, golfing or biking. But you should avoid higher impact activities — such as jogging, skiing, tennis, and sports that involve contact or jumping. Talk to your New Orleans orthopaedic specialist about your limitations.
Why Choose A New Orleans Orthopaedic Surgeon for Knee Replacement?
We want to be your trusted Orthopaedic Specialists in New Orleans. If you would like to know if you are a candidate for a knee replacement, please call our office at 504-897-7877 and a member of our caring staff will be happy to help you.
Thank you for trusting us with your care!
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