Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement
Painful knees are a common problem - often the result of wear-and-tear from sports injuries or obesity, which leads to a degenerative form of arthritis called osteoarthritis. Pain relievers and other treatments can help. When knee damage is severe, a total knee replacement can relieve the pain and allow you to be more active again. Learn more about knee replacement surgery from out experts.

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  • 1 Answer
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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    Many elderly people have other complicating medical conditions that must be understood and, if possible, improved prior to joint replacement surgery and then managed postoperatively. This often requires the person's doctor or a specialist working as part of the team.

    A great hospital with a proven track record, which provides designated teams specializing in the care of people with hip and knee replacement, also is a must. Because elderly people often have other serious conditions and/or significant past medical histories, caring for them in a hospital with full medical services, including intensive care units (ICUs) and 24-hour-a-day, in-house intensivist care, is extremely important.

    Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.
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    While recovering from knee replacement surgery, you need to:
    • Let your healthcare providers know as soon as you start to feel pain so they can help manage it.
    • Do your physical therapy exercises just as directed.
    • Follow all of your doctor's orders to reduce the risk of complications. This includes taking medications, having blood tests, and using blood-clot-prevention devices.
    • Let your healthcare providers know if you have concerns about anything to do with your recovery or your care.
  • 6 Answers
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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    Today, a replacement knee can last 15, 20, or even 25 good, active years. That’s compared to only a 5-10 year lifespan for a replacement knee as recently as a decade ago. While still an option of last resort for those suffering from chronic knee pain, replacement knee surgery is not only far less invasive now, the results are measurably better and last far longer. Several factors, such as improved materials, tools and technology, have converged to make this surgery a longer lasting and more effective answer to a bum knee.
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  • 1 Answer
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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    While you're in the hospital after knee replacement surgery, your goal is to build your strength enough that you'll be able continue your recovery outside of the hospital. You'll do this by increasing your activity a little every day. Your health care providers will help you when you need it. On the day of surgery:
    • You will be given oxygen through a tube to your nose for about 24 hours.
    • You will be given fluids through an IV (intravenous) line until you're drinking enough to not get dehydrated. You will begin to drink fluids and eat as you would like.
    • In addition to your usual medication, you will receive other medications to prevent blood clots, control pain, and prevent infection.
    • You will be shown how to use a spirometer, a special device that measures the strength of your breathing. About every two hours you'll be reminded to cough and to breathe deeply into it to prevent lung congestion.
    • You will have physical therapy.
    • The physical therapist will visit and evaluate your movement. Your recovery coach (a friend or relative who will help you in the hospital and at home after surgery) needs to be there for this evaluation.
    • You may rest on the day of surgery, or the surgeon may want you to sit up and work with your therapist at the bedside.
    • You may also begin treatment with the CPM (continuous passive motion) machine.
  • 1 Answer
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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    A partial knee replacement, rather than a total knee replacement, is better for you if you are a candidate for it. With the partial or unicompartmental  knee replacement, doctors don't violate any of the ligaments, so it feels much more natural, much more stable.

    Obviously, not everybody is a candidate for a partial knee replacement. If you have arthritis on the outside or under your kneecap, then you wouldn't be a good candidate for a partial knee replacement. Doctors wouldn't just do a partial job; they'd want to get all your pain relieved. A total knee replacement is a great thing for an arthritic knee. The pain's gone, you can walk a lot better and generally function a lot better; but it feels just a little bit mechanical because it is a little bit mechanical. But if you're a candidate for a partial knee replacement, this is a very good way to go.


     
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    While you're recovering from knee replacement surgery, you'll need to be careful about reaching and falling. Look for places in your home that could cause problems. Have someone help make your home safer by doing these things:
    • Make sure your chairs and couches are easy to get into and out of. Add pillows to low chairs if necessary.
    • Remove tripping hazards. Repair loose carpet and floor boards. Remove throw rugs, electrical cords, and anything you could trip over. If you have a small pet, put a bell on its collar so you'll always know if it's underfoot.
    • Make sure you'll have space to move around easily. If necessary, move furniture so you'll have spaces wide enough for a walker. Install handrails along stairways. Store often-used items within easy reach.
    • Prepare the bathroom and kitchen so you won't slip. Get a shower or bath chair with nonslip pads. Install a handrail in the bathroom.
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    As instructed by your doctor, don't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before knee replacement surgery. Shower using the soap or cleansers your doctor has recommended. Take your prescribed medications with a sip of water. Arrive at the scheduled time.

    One or two people may stay with you until you're taken to the surgical area. Have them keep your personal items (including all clothing, jewelry, dentures, plates, contact lenses, hair clips, and artificial limbs) while you're in surgery.
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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    With custom knee replacement, the benefit is similar to having a custom suit or dress made for the individual versus having one tailored to fit. If the knee fits better, it will function better and feel more like a natural knee. Plus, the better fit leads to a quicker surgery, less bleeding and fewer adjustments to surrounding muscles and tendons, leading to a faster recovery.

    Recovering from custom knee replacement surgery still requires intense physical therapy for about six weeks, and people must be active partners in their rehabilitation following surgery. But, once people recover, they report their knees feel like new.
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    Doing the following knee exercises will help you recover after total knee replacement surgery. Because they strengthen the muscles that support your knee, they can also prevent knee damage. Do the selected exercises with both your legs exactly as your doctor instructs. Do the best you can without getting to the point of severe pain.

    Knee extensions
    • Lie on your back with your involved leg bent to 45 degrees. Put a pillow or towel under your knee for support.
    • Straighten your leg at your knee. Hold this position for __ seconds.
    • Return to the starting position.
    Knee stretch
    • Lie flat on your back with your ankle supported by a rolled-up towel.
    • Relax your leg, letting gravity straighten your leg.
    • Work up to __ minute(s).
    Sitting knee stretch
    • Sit in a chair.
    • Bend your operated knee as much as possible.
    • Hold this position for __ seconds.
    • Relax and repeat.
    Beginning level: Slide your heel back.
    Intermediate level: Use your opposite foot to assist the stretch.
    Advanced level: Plant your foot, then scoot your hips forward, bending your knee.

    Sitting knee extension
    • Sit with your legs bent to 90 degrees.
    • Straighten your operated leg at your knee.
    • Return to starting position.
    Knee squats
    • Stand on both feet, holding on to a counter or wall for balance if needed.
    • Bend your knees to 45 degrees. Be sure to keep good low-back posture. Don't let your knee go past the end of your toes.
    • Return to starting position.
    Standing knee flex
    • Stand holding a wall or chair. Bend your operated leg toward your buttocks through the full range. (Do not bend leg at hips.)
    • Return to starting position.
    Knee marching
    • Hold on to a table, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Raise one knee as high as you can, then lower it.
    • Repeat with the other knee.
    • Continue like you are marching in place.
    Sitting knee stretch with towel
    • Sit on a flat surface.
    • Bend your operated knee with your foot flat.
    • Loop a towel around your ankle and slide your heel toward your buttocks.
    • Hold this position for __ seconds.
    • Relax and repeat.
  • 1 Answer
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    A Orthopedic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    The following people are not candidates for muscle-sparing knee replacement surgery:
    • Somebody who has has already had one done and has to have a revision.
    • A person who has a severe deformity and the surgeon needs to do some fancy techniques to correct the deformity.
    • A person who is very overweight.