If your knee pain is severe or prevents you from standing or walking, please call New York City’s innovative knee surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik immediately and have someone drive you to our office for a consultation.
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery, often called total knee arthroplasty, is an orthopedic procedure where all or part of the knee joint is replaced with an artificial knee implant in order to relieve pain and return the joint to its proper function. Patients suffering from arthritis or osteoarthritis are ideal candidates for knee replacement surgery.
Overall, there are more than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries performed in the US each year, making it one of the most successful treatments.
The procedure involves removing the damaged part of the joint then resurfacing the leg bones that comprise the knee joint by capping the ends with metal or plastic by cementing or press-fitting. The kneecap (patella) is then resurfaced with a plastic button and finally a plastic spacer is inserted between the two caps in order to provide a smooth surface for the joint to glide.
Types of Knee Replacement Surgery
There are two different types of knee replacement surgeries:
- Total Knee Replacement (TKR) – Total knee replacement surgery refers to a procedure where the entire knee joint is removed and replaced with an artificial implant. A total knee replacement is the most common type of knee replacement surgery, with 90% of all knee replacements being total knee replacements.
- Partial Knee Replacement (PKR) – Partial knee replacement surgery refers to a procedure where the arthritic component of the knee joint is removed and replaced with an artificial metal or plastic component. A partial knee replacement happens less than 10% of the time knee replacement surgery is required.
There are three different ways a knee surgeon can perform a knee replacement surgery:
- Traditional Knee Replacement Surgery – The legacy approach to knee replacement surgery requires a 12” vertical incision across the knee joint. This approach requires cutting into the quadriceps tendon and requires about 12 weeks of recovery time.
- Minimally Invasive Surgery – The more modern approach to knee replacement surgery requires only a 3 – 4” vertical incision across the knee joint. This approach requires less cutting and trauma, resulting in quicker recovery times, with less pain.
- Computer Assisted Surgery – The computer assisted surgery approach is the latest in surgical procedures. With computer assisted knee replacement surgery, a computer helps the surgeon align the knee components more precisely, while requiring a smaller incision and a quicker recovery time.
Today’s knee replacement surgeries are increasingly complex and safe. In order to the determine the best treatment option for you, Dr. Vigdorchik carefully considers your condition, medical history, lifestyle, and personal preferences.
Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery
The road to recovery after knee replacement surgery will depend on a number of factors: your age, lifestyle and the type of knee replacement surgery.
In general, you should expect to spend anywhere from three to five days in the hospital post surgery. Upon discharge from the hospital, you should be able to move in and out of bed, walk 25 to 30 feet easily with help from crutches and achieve 90 degree range of motion with your knee joint.
Once out of the hospital you will be but on a rehabilitation and therapy program to regain strength, stability and full range of motion. About six weeks after surgery, you should be able to stop using crutches and resume normal walking activities.
It may take up to three months for pain and swelling to subside. It can take up to a year for any leg swelling to disappear completely.
Knee Replacement Surgery Articles
Learn more about knee replacement surgery with these educational articles from New York City knee surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik:
- Benefits of Computer Assisted Joint Replacements
- Not your Grandparents Knee Joint Replacement
- Patients Happier with Robotic Assisted Knee Replacements
Call Us Immediately
If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms of knee pain below, please call New York City knee surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik immediately to schedule an appointment. If left untreated, knee pain often become more severe over time and can cause further knee joint dysfunction.
- Sudden, severe pain and swelling in and around the knee joint
- A loud pop when the knee joint was injured
- Inability to put weight on your leg or move your knee