An In-Depth Look at Total Knee Replacements
Follow along as knee and hip replacement specialist, Dr. Graham Pallante, gives a comprehensive overview of total knee replacements. Dr. Pallante discusses when it may be time for a knee replacement, what to expect before, during and after surgery, and the typical recovery process after surgery.
When is it Time for a Total Knee Replacement?
- Total knee replacements are typically performed on patients who have osteoarthritis of the knee, another autoimmune disease, or have had a prior knee injury.
- Patients normally start to consider a total knee replacement if they are experiencing pain and/or decreased mobility that is progressively getting worse.
What are Conservative Treatments Patients Can Try?
- Before jumping right to surgery, your physician will want explore conservative treatment methods first. These may include:
- Over-the-counter medications, such as Advil or Aleve
- Prescription medications
What Can a Patient Expect with a Total Knee Replacement?
- Address any other medical concerns, such as heart or lung conditions, to mitigate risk
- Your physician may also recommend starting physical therapy, so you get used to some of the DME equipment you will use and exercises you will need to perform after surgery.
- During Surgery
- Total knee replacement procedures typically take between 60-90 minutes
- After Surgery
- Some patients are good candidates for a same day outpatient total knee replacement, while other patients may need to spend a day or so in the hospital before returning home. You will make a plan with your physician prior to surgery to identify the best option for you!
What is the Recovery Process for a Total Knee Replacement?
- During the first 1-2 weeks after surgery:
- Minimal activity
- Many patients use a walker to assist with balance
- Within the next 3-5 weeks:
- Gradually increase mobility
- Graduate from a walker to a cane to assist with balance
- Within the next 4 weeks:
- Perform light exercises
- Run errands, such as grocery shopping
- About 80% of recovery is complete within the first 2-3 months after surgery.
For the right patient, a knee replacement can provide long lasting relief from pain and limited mobility, and help you get back to doing the activities you love!