Total Knee Replacement

The x-rays show 17 years out end-stage knee disease and after Dr. Samuel’s performed a successful total knee replacement.

The knee is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. The knee joins the thigh bone (femur) to the shin bone (tibia). The smaller bone that runs alongside the tibia (fibula) and the kneecap (patella) are the other bones that make the knee joint.

Tendons connect the knee bones to the leg muscles that move the knee joint. Ligaments join the knee bones and provide stability to the knee

If your knee is severely damaged by arthritis, it may be hard for you to perform simple activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. You may even begin to feel pain while you are sitting or lying down.

If nonsurgical treatments like medications, knee injections, and using walking supports are no longer helpful, you may want to consider total knee replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain, correct leg deformity, and help you resume normal activities.

The most common cause of chronic knee pain and disability is arthritis. Most knee pain is caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.

Knee replacement (knee arthroplasty) might be more accurately termed a knee “resurfacing” because only the surface of the bones is replaced.

The surgery involves removing the damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the femur and tibia with a small amount of underlying bone. The removed cartilage and bone are replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint. A medical-grade plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to create a smooth gliding surface. The undersurface of the patella (kneecap) is either fashioned to fit the prosthesis (patelloplasty) or resurfaced, depending upon the case.

It is important to have realistic expectations about an artificial knee. Most people who have total knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living.
With normal use and activity, every knee replacement implant begins to wear in its plastic spacer. Excessive activity or weight may speed up this normal wear and may cause the knee replacement to loosen and become painful. Therefore, we advise against high-impact activities such as running, jogging, jumping, or other high-impact sports for the rest of your life after knee replacement.

Dr. Sami performs knee replacement surgery using American brand artificial parts (called prostheses). The majority of our clients are typically admitted to the hospital the day of the surgery and stay 2 nights in the hospital after surgery. People recover at different paces, but most can expect to be back to doing what they were before the surgery in 2-3months or sooner. An example of the long-term outcome of a knee replacement is shown below.

If you are thinking about having your knee replaced, it is important to have a good discussion with Dr. Samuel about whether the operation is right for you or not. You can further discuss, about detailed risks and benefits of the surgery.

All surgical procedures have risks associated with them. The decision to proceed with the surgery basically comes down to a discussion around whether the risks are worth taking, or not.

Compiled and written on June 2021. By Dr. Samuel Hailu.

*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is for educational purposes only. This should NOT be used in place of a visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your healthcare provider because of any information you read on this topic.