Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure where the worn-out surfaces of the knee are resurfaced with metal and plastic components. Over time, the cartilage that cushions the bones can wear away, cause pain and discomfort, and make simple pleasures like walking and shopping unbearable.
Knee replacement can reduce or eliminate pain, allow easier movement, and get you back to normal life.
For more information or a physician referral, call us 24/7 at 530-244-5400.
Who Is a Candidate?
Knee replacement surgery may be considered for those suffering from arthritic knee pain that severely limits the activities of daily living. It is only recommended after careful examination and diagnosis of your particular joint problem, and only after more conservative measures, such as exercise, physical therapy and medications have proven ineffective.
What Kind of Knee Implant Is Best?
There are many kinds and designs of knee implants available today, and no one design or type is best for every patient. Surgeons select the implant they believe is best for their patient’s needs based on a number of factors including age, activity level, the implant’s track record, and his or her comfort with the instruments associated with the particular implant.
How Long Will I Be in the Hospital?
With improvements in surgical techniques and post-op care, it is now common for many patients to be able to go home from the hospital after two or three days. If you have both knees replaced at the same time, the stay can be a day or two longer. Of course, each patient is different, but the goal should be for you to recover in the comfort and privacy of your own home as soon as possible.
How Successful Is Knee Replacement?
Total knee replacement is recognized as one of the most successful procedures in all of medicine. In the United States, over 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. According to a recent study, most patients opting for a total knee replacement found improvement in pain, functional status and an overall quality of life ( Hamilton D, Henderson GR, Gaston P, et al. Comparative outcomes of total hip and knee arthroplasty: a prospective cohort study. Postgrad Med J 2012;88:627–31).
What Are the Risks?
Even though knee replacement surgery is considered a successful procedure, it is major surgery, and as with any surgery, there are risks. Your surgeon and healthcare team will take great care to minimize the risk of complications. Keep in mind that complications are relatively rare, but they need to be understood by you and your family. Your surgeon will be happy to answer any questions.
Is It Painful?
You will experience some discomfort after surgery, but be assured we will do everything we can to keep you as comfortable as possible. Pain after surgery varies from person to person and is not entirely predictable. However, modern medications and improved anesthetic techniques greatly enhance our ability to control pain and discomfort after surgery.
Will I Need a Blood Transfusion?
Your surgical team will do everything possible to minimize bleeding, but some blood loss after joint replacement is unavoidable. Whether or not a blood transfusion is required will depend greatly on highly-individualized factors, including your condition prior to surgery, cardiac history, age, etc. Be sure to discuss these issues with your surgeon.