New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer suggests that if knee pain is limiting your ability to perform your normal daily activities, knee replacement surgery may just provide the relief you need. Advancements in knee replacement surgery have made this a viable procedure for many people suffering from knee pain.
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
Knee replacement surgery is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. During surgery, your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon removes the damaged cartilage and bone and replaces them with new metal and plastic joint surfaces to restore function of the knee.
A more recent advancement in total knee replacement is the use of minimally invasive surgical techniques. With this relatively new technique, the incisions are approximately half the size of those used in the standard procedure. The smaller incisions and new techniques are resulting in a quicker recovery period, less pain and a shorter hospital stay.
The actual procedure takes only two hours. Preparations before surgery and recovery from anesthesia lengthen the operating and recovery room stay.
After surgery, patients will have a large bandage on their knee. At this time pressure stockings are used to keep the blood moving to decrease the risk of developing blood clots. Medications are prescribed by your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon to ease any pain, which gradually decreases after surgery.
Patients are encouraged to begin moving their foot and ankle immediately after surgery to increase blood flow in the leg muscles to help prevent swelling and blood clots. Physical therapy typically begins the day after surgery and continues until strength and motion return.
To speed recovery, a continuous passive motion (CPM) device may be used. This mechanical device gently and smoothly bends and straightens the knee. The rate and amount of bend in the knee is gradually increased as tolerated.
Not all degenerative knee conditions require a knee replacement. Total knee replacement may be recommended by your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon for:
- Knee pain that has not responded to six months or more of therapy (including medications, injections, and physical therapy);
- Knee pain that restricts activities of daily living;
- Arthritis of the knee;
- Significant stiffness of the knee;
- Deformity (lock-knees or bow-legs);
- Some tumors of the knee.
About 90% of patients who undergo total knee replacement surgery are relieved of pain. Most patients do not need assistance with walking. Prostheses last an average of 10 to 15 years. It is important to remember that an artificial knee is not a normal knee, so activities that overexert the artificial knee must be avoided.
Don’t suffer with knee pain! Call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule a consultation. Wouldn’t it be nice to be pain-free?