A knee replacement is a type of surgery that resurfaces the damaged surface of the knee joint and replaces the damaged parts with an artificial knee joint. Also called total knee arthroplasty, knee replacement surgery is a state-of-the-art procedure that can restore function to the knee and get individuals back on their feet and enjoy life again.
Since it is still a major surgery, a lot of planning goes on before the patient gets on the operating table. If you are thinking about getting a knee replacement and wondering what is in store for you, we recommend you have a talk with your orthopedic doctor.
Below, we have a guide to knee replacement for your awareness.
Consult a Knee Replacement Surgeon
The first step you need to take is to consult with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knee replacement surgery. If you want the best setup for a successful outcome, it is critical that you choose a board-certified knee replacement surgeon who specializes in treating arthritis of the knee. That way, you know you are getting the highest quality treatments for your knee condition. If the doctor determines that you are a good candidate for a knee replacement, you are ready for the next step of the process.
Once a patient has decided to undergo knee replacement surgery, the surgeon will schedule preoperative tests, including blood work, to assess your overall health and determine how to optimize your health prior to the procedure to obtain the best results with surgery. This is all part of pre-surgical planning.
You may need to do physical therapy exercises – or prehabilitation – before the surgery to boost muscle strength in the hip, quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings to better support the knee during your recovery. Studies show patients who are in the best shape prior to surgery can have less pain and a faster recovery after surgery.
During a knee replacement, you will be placed under spinal anesthesia, but will still be asleep during the procedure. The orthopedic surgeon will replace the existing knee joint with metal and plastic components and place a special gliding surface to cushion the movement of the bones in the knee. Depending on any issues you have with the structure of your knee, the doctor may need to substitute worn or damaged ligaments and rebuild areas of worn-away bones.
A knee replacement is either an outpatient procedure or requires an overnight stay, depending on the type of procedure performed and your overall health in terms of other medical conditions. Patients can get up and out of bed with assistance within the first few hours after they awake from their surgery. A rigorous post-operative physical therapy program is necessary to have a shorter recovery period and the best outcomes from surgery. After a knee replacement surgery, the harder you work on your physical therapy, the quicker you can recover.
Knee Replacement Surgeon in Raleigh, Apex & Brier Creek, NC
Dr. Brett Gilbert is a knee replacement specialist who uses the latest surgical techniques to restore patients’ damaged knees to a good, working function. Dr. Gilbert is highly trained and experienced in cutting-edge joint replacement procedures including MAKOplasty robotic-assisted joint replacements. Dr. Gilbert is not just board-certified, he is also fellowship trained in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery.
Find out if it’s time for a knee replacement and if you are a good candidate for a minimally-invasive joint replacement procedure. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilbert today. Call our office at (919) 788-8797. You can request an appointment with Dr. Gilbert using our appointment request form, or you can self-schedule your appointment here.