Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
The procedure known as Total Knee Arthroplasty, or Total Knee Replacement is the recommended surgical procedure for patients with severely damaged knee joints. Injury, arthritic disease, and other degenerative diseases that affect synovial joins can be to blame for the types of damage that would warrant a total knee replacement.
While total knee replacement surgery is extremely successfully in helping patients with persistent knee pain, limited knee function or a degenerative joint disease in their knees, doctors will typically look towards conservative treatment methods first. Even though most surgeries are performed as minimally intrusive as possible, relying on the body’s natural healing processes can save patients stress, risks and money.
If you suspect that your knee joint is in need of repair, you will need to be cautious with how you exert yourself physically and start to take conservative steps towards relieving your knee pain, stiffness or swelling.
Various factors are known to contribute to the development of knee joint deterioration. These sources include:
- Traumatic joint injury
- Bacterial or viral infection of the joint
- General wear and tear over time
Diagnosing osteoarthritis or severe knee joint dysfunction is fairly simple. A comprehensive assessment will be made of your personal medical history, a thorough physical examination, and any necessary imaging and scanning tests. Once diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis, it is likely that your doctor will recommend a total knee replacement to begin the regression of your knee deterioration.
The primary goal of the procedure is to provide meaningful and lasting pain relief as well as restoring as much functional use of the joint as possible. Like all major surgeries, total knee replacements are performed with the patient under the effects of anesthesia. Once the patient has been prepped, an incision is made above the affected joint. The surgeon then proceeds to carefully remove all the damaged bone and ligament tissue from the joint, after which a prosthetic knee is implanted. The prosthesis will be secured to the bone using surgical cement in order to ensure the best possible outcome. Once the replacement knee joint is properly attached, the surgeon cleans up the site and closes the incision with sutures.
After the surgery, a long rehabilitative process begins. Physical therapy will be needed in order to maximize healing as well as strengthen the new joint. It is important that supporting muscles in the leg be strengthened as well in order to minimize the chances of a failed surgery (joint instability or dislocation). Pain medication will be administered regularly during the first weeks of postoperative care to ensure as much comfort during recovery as possible.
Risks & Complications
Total knee replacement surgeries carry certain risks. As with any major surgery, complications are a possibility, although rare. Some of the associated risks include:
- Nerve damage
- Vascular damage
- Patellar dislocation
By working with an experienced and thorough surgical team, you will be given the most capable care from start to finish. This includes the diagnostic tests that ensure that you are a great fit for total knee replacement and that the surgeon has a complete understanding of how he, or she, is going to conduct the operation based on your specific scans. Complete surgical teams will have the confidence, experience, cutting-edge equipment and preparation to successfully perform even the most complex procedures with relative ease.
If osteoarthritis has significantly lowered the quality of your life, contact the SOAR team to see if total knee replacement is right for you.
Other Spine List
- Normal Anatomy of the Knee Joint
- Knee Arthritis
- Knee Fracture
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears
- Meniscus Tear
- Arthroscopy of the Knee Joint
- ACL Reconstruction Hamstring Tendon
- ACL Reconstruction Patellar Tendon
- Uni Condylar Knee Replacement
- Meniscus Repair
- Patellofemoral Instability
- Anterior Cruciate Ligament ACL Reconstruction