Does your knee pain limit every day activities and keep you from sleeping at night? Do you experience knee swelling that cannot be relieved with ice, rest or elevation? Has your knee shape changed due to cartilage wearing away? Do you have stiff knees that you cannot bend or straighten? Are you not able to relieve your knee pain with over-the-counter pain medications and cortisone injections?
If you said ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may be a good candidate for a total knee replacement. Knee pain can often be acute soreness from exercise or an activity that you have never done before. It could also mean that the cartilage that keeps the bones around the knee joint from rubbing together is worn down. This is often described as “bone-on-bone”.
Total knee replacements are often done when non-surgical treatments — such as NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen and Aleve), exercises and cortisone injections — are unsuccessful. Replacement surgery is needed when the articular cartilage protecting the joint is worn away from years of arthritis.
During the surgery, the surgeon will make an incision over the knee cap and remove the knee joint behind the knee cap. The bones around the knee are then molded and shaped to fit the new knee prosthesis. The new knee joint is then placed and secured with special cement that dries quickly. The entire procedure takes about one hour to complete.
View a 3D animation of a total knee replacement.
If you are experiencing long-term knee pain and think you might need a total knee replacement, the experts at the Prevea Hip & Knee Center