The Large, Weak Joint
Total Knee Arthroplasty
Did you know the knee is the largest joint in the human body? The knee serves many purpose, one of the main purposes is that the knee connects the femur (thigh bone) with the tibia (shinbone) and fibula (calf bone). It is also a key factor in performing day-to-day activities such as walking, running, sitting and standing. Although it is the largest joint, it is also a weak joint and can easily be injured. There are many procedures for healing knee injuries however, we in this post we will be touching on Total Knee Arthroplasty.
What is Total Knee Arthroplasty and what causes someone to need this procedure? Total Knee Arthroplasty also referred to as Total Knee Replacement is a surgery that relieves the patient of severe, disabling pain within their knee caused by arthritis. Although there are various reasons for someone needing this surgery, arthritis is the most common.
So your next question is probably — what does this procedure look like and how do you prep for it? The surgery consists of the orthopaedic going into the knee and removing damaged cartilage and bone from the surface of the joint. Once that is done, the doctor will replace the cartilage and bone with a surface of plastic and metal which is man-made. There is also partial knee replacements and in this case the orthopaedic replaces only one part of the knee. Prior to coming in for surgery, the orthopaedic will give the patient specific instructions to follow in order to prep for the procedure. Doctors might tell patients to stop taking certain medications to prevent blood clots during the surgery, eliminate or cut down smoking to prevent any problems during or post surgery, and keep in constant communication about any illnesses that may occur before the procedure. These are just some of the precautions the orthopaedic may have a patient take, but there are also many more depending on the patient and doctor.
It is important to take precautions both before and post surgery. Once a patient is out of surgery, it is important to understand there will be side effects and the patient will need time to fully recover from this procedure. Bruising can last up to two weeks post surgery, swelling can last anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months, and general pain will last for weeks following the surgery depending on the patient’s body and how it heals. Ways to decrease bruising and swelling would be to elevate the leg, ensuring to ice the knee a few times a day, and being diligent with taking the medicine prescribed by the orthopaedic. Physical therapy is another key part to healing back to one-hundred percent.
The best outcomes of tough injuries comes from being taken care of in a secure setting, which is where we come in. At Orthopaedic Specialists of Dallas, we will do our best to ensure you have a great and quick healing process of any type of service we offer our clients.
We strive to maintain a safe and professional environment in our office making our patients feel comfortable throughout any and all procedures.If you or someone you know has questions or is suffering from a knee injury, please call us at (972) 771–8111, and let one of our qualified staff members help you with any of your needs.