The first and most important thing you can expect with knee joint replacement is a drastic reduction in knee pain. Studies show that 90% of people who undergo knee replacement therapy report feeling significantly less pain.
You can also count on your new joint to last 15-25 years, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
A knee joint replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is a surgery that removes damaged knee bone and cartilage and replaces it with an artificial knee joint, usually made of metal, plastic, or ceramic.
We typically recommend this surgery for those with severe knee pain, most often caused by osteoarthritis.
At Douglas J. Abeles MD & Associates in Castro Valley, California, our skilled medical team has extensive experience treating knee pain and performing knee joint replacement surgery. Here, we share what to expect during and after surgery.
What happens during a knee joint replacement?
On the day of your surgery, we give you either general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep throughout the procedure, or a local one where you’re awake but can’t feel anything below your waist. We determine the best type of anesthesia for your situation.
If you have a lot of leg hair in the area where we’re operating, we may have to shave it. Then we clean the site before making an incision. Next, we remove the damaged bone and tissue and insert the prosthetic, the artificial joint. Your knee cap, called the patella, may also be resurfaced.
The surgery takes about an hour or two. After we stitch you up and apply a bandage, you’re moved to a recovery room.
What can you expect after knee joint replacement therapy?
Most of our knee replacement patients go home the same day of their surgery, but some need to stay for a few days.
We provide you with a rehabilitation plan that includes instructions for how to get around and post-surgery physical therapy exercises to regain your strength and mobility. Movement and exercise are crucial parts of your recovery.
After that, we send you home with pain medication to help relieve discomfort, which is normal after surgery.
You should be able to resume some normal activities within three to six weeks. And once you can bend your knee, which can take anywhere from four to six weeks, you can resume driving. Most people fully recover within three to six months.
Are you experiencing knee pain? Wondering if you’d benefit from joint replacement surgery? Call our office to make an appointment and find out.