If arthritis or previous sports injuries are causing you severe knee pain that makes it difficult to get around, you may qualify for total knee replacement surgery. Performed by a skilled orthopedic surgeon, this procedure involves replacing damaged cartilage with artificial materials that withstand normal activity. While this surgery offers a variety of benefits, patients must take time to learn about the treatment and prepare for a lengthy recovery. To help you explore this option, here are a few frequently asked questions about knee replacement surgery.
4 Common Questions on Knee Replacements
What’s the surgery process like?
Knee replacement surgery usually takes no longer than two hours. Once you’re fully anesthetized, your orthopedic surgeon will make an incision above your damaged knee. Next, the kneecap is gently repositioned so that all problematic bone and cartilage can be surgically removed.
A series of metal and plastic materials are then placed where the bone and cartilage used to be. Next, the kneecap is put back into place. If successful, the synthetic materials will eventually heal to function like a healthy knee joint.
How long will recovery take?
Total recovery from knee replacement surgery can take up to a year, but you’ll gradually regain abilities that allow you to get back on your feet.
After the first few weeks, you’ll be able to move around with the help of walking aids and a knee brace. However, you should plan on being out of work for at least a month. You won’t be able to drive for at least three weeks. After six weeks of physical therapy, your new knee should be strong enough to allow for light activities without the use of supportive devices.
What will physical therapy involve?
Throughout your rehabilitation, you’ll visit with a physical therapist to restore your knee function safely and progressively. You’ll engage in a series of exercises that strengthen your knee. You’ll also learn how to stretch, use walking aids properly, and apply weight to the affected leg to minimize scarring.
How long do knee replacements last?
On average, knee replacements last as long as 20 years before they need to be replaced again. Individuals who are overweight or physically inactive, however, may require replacement earlier.
If you’re concerned about chronic knee pain or immobility, the Orthopaedic Associates of Rochester will help you explore a variety of treatments to get you moving with confidence. If knee replacement is recommended, these trusted orthopedic doctors will gently guide you through the entire surgical and recovery process to ensure you remain as comfortable as possible at every stage. To learn more about the ways these orthopedic surgeons of Monroe County, NY, will restore your mobility and alleviate pain, visit their practice online. Call (585) 723-3000 to schedule a convenient consultation with a friendly specialist.