According to New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer, when lesser measures can no longer control the pain and disability of arthritic knees, surgery to reconstruct or replace them then becomes a consideration.
These are completely elective procedures, and anyone who is a candidate would be smart to know in advance just what the procedure involves, both during surgery and for the months following it, and what limitations on activities are likely.
The most common procedure performed by your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon is replacement of the working parts of the knee with synthetic devices such as metal and plastic or ceramic materials that can withstand normal stresses on the weight-bearing joint for at least a decade.
The knee is a hinge joint comprised of bones, ligaments and tendons that is supported by muscles. The knee can bend, slide, glide and rotate through a wide range of motions and while doing so, absorb up to seven times a person’s weight.
Unfortunately, it is also a very vulnerable joint that can suffer as a result of injury, disease and, most commonly, the stresses inflicted on it during the long and active lives so many of us now lead.
Your New Orleans orthopedic surgeon finds that the most common reason for a knee replacement is osteoarthritis, which is the wear-and-tear disease in which the cushions of articular cartilage at the ends of the thigh bone, or femur, and the lower leg bone, or tibia, deteriorate, creating bones that rub together painfully with every step.
Although most arthritic knees are a symptom of aging, an increasing number of cases occur in younger people who sustain athletic or accidental knee injuries years earlier.
In the right hands and with proper rehabilitation, it is a highly successful procedure, resulting in a pain-free knee that lasts 10 years in 90 percent of cases and 20 years in 80 percent of cases.
Full recovery from knee replacement surgery typically takes three months, at which time most patients are able to resume activities such as bicycling, walking, swimming and golf.
If you are experiencing pain in your knees – don’t hesitate – call the office of New Orleans orthopedic surgeon Dr. Richard Meyer today to schedule a consultation. You don’t have to live in pain!