Based on your medical history, exam, X-rays and response to more conservative treatments, you and your orthopedic surgeon may decide that it's time for a knee replacement. The Joint Center team specializes in the latest total and partial knee replacement surgical techniques.
A total knee replacement is really a cartilage replacement with an artificial surface. The knee itself is not replaced, as is commonly thought, but rather an artificial substitute for the cartilage is inserted on the end of the bones. This is done with a metal alloy on the femur and plastic spacer on the tibia and kneecap (patella). This creates a new, smooth cushion and a functioning joint that does not hurt.
In some patients, only one of the knee's three compartments is damaged. In those instances, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend a partial knee replacement, which only replaces the cartilage in the one, damaged compartment. Partial knee replacement surgery is naturally less invasive than a total knee replacement, which often means shorter recovery times.
Knee replacement patients typically use a walker or crutches for two weeks, and then progress to a cane for up to four weeks. Most patients are advised to take at least one month off from work, and can start resuming normal activities, like driving, anywhere from two to six weeks. Following your knee replacement team's prescribed rehabilitation regimen-either through outpatient or in-home physical therapy-is the key to your recovery.