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All You (K)need to Know About Knee Replacement

Nearly 7 million adults currently living in the United States have had knee replacement surgery, according to research. Knee replacement is one of the most common procedures performed in the country, and it’s reported that almost 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year to help patients get their mobility back.

So, what is knee replacement, and do you need it? Let’s find out.

A man testing his knee after surgery

The Knee Replacement Procedure

Also known as knee resurfacing or knee arthroplasty, knee replacement is a surgical procedure that strives to restore the functionality of a worn, damaged, or diseased knee joint. The goal is to help the affected individual regain mobility and be up on their feet (literally) in no time through a quick and effective treatment procedure.

The surgeon first makes an incision at the affected site. The damaged surfaces of the knee are then removed carefully, making a place for the prosthesis. Next, the artificial knee joint is inserted at the site, and the incision is sealed with stitches or staples. The knee area is then covered with a bandage or dressing for a few days until the muscles have healed.

Types of Knee Replacements

Partial knee replacement and total knee replacement are two forms of knee replacement surgeries. As the name suggests, total knee replacement (TKR) involves removing and replacing both sides of the knee joint. In contrast, a partial knee replacement (PKR) procedure only replaces one side of the knee joint.

Both forms of knee replacements have their advantages and disadvantages. TKR is a lengthier procedure that can cause scarring, but it also has long-lasting results. PKR involves smaller incisions and less scarring but may only be a temporary solution for severe cases. Make sure you consult your physician to fully understand the pros and cons of each procedure before deciding which one to opt for.

A man getting physiotherapy for knee pain

When Do You Need Knee Replacement?

The surgical procedure isn’t meant to heal minor knee ailments or injuries. It’s recommended for individuals whose knee troubles interfere with their lives such that they can no longer manage their condition the way they had been previously. Typically, knee replacement is recommended after other less invasive treatments have failed to produce desirable results.

You may be a candidate for knee replacement if you:

  • Experience severe knee pain or stiffness that has made performing simple everyday tasks challenging
  • Experience mild yet continuous knee pain when you’re resting or sleeping
  • Have tried medication and physical therapy to treat chronic knee inflammation and haven’t seen an improvement
  • Have a knee deformity

The orthopedic surgeons at Houston Physicians’ Hospital can guide you through the process of knee replacement and ensure that you get the best treatment for knee pain.

If you’re thinking that you may need knee replacement surgery, you can find a specialist who’s right for you here.

We also provide treatments for back and neck pain, neurosurgery, and general surgery.