The knee is made up of the lower end of the thighbone (femur), upper end of the shinbone (tibia) and the kneecap (patella).
Where these three bones touch is covered with articular cartilage, a smooth substance that protects the bones and enables them to glide against each other easily.
Long, thin muscles give the knee strength, while large ligaments provide stability and hold the femur and tibia together.
Total knee replacements are performed when a patient has a stiff, painful knee that is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, and less invasive treatments aren’t viable.
Total Knee Replacement Overview
During the procedure a knee surgeon removes the damaged bone and cartilage from the thighbone and kneecap, replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal, plastics and polymers.
More than 90% of people who have total knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction in knee pain post-surgery.
Conditions Treated by Total Knee Replacements
Total knee replacements are most common among people over age 50 who have severe osteoarthritis.
Most severe knee pain and disability is attributed to one of three types of arthritis including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Post-traumatic arthritis
Patients in need of a total knee replacement often have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as:
- Climbing stairs
- Getting in and out of cars
Dr. Vigdorchik believes total knee replacement surgery should be recommended only when less invasive alternatives aren’t viable.
Non-operative treatments for knee conditions are prioritized and surgery is only recommended when it is most beneficial to the patient.
Patient condition, medical history, lifestyle, and personal preferences are considered before making a formal recommendation.
Total Knee Replacement Recovery
After total knee replacement surgery patients could be in the hospital for a few days.
Depending on age and medical condition of the patient, it can take three months to return to normal activities.
It can take six months to one year for a full recovery with full strength regained.
Patients may be allowed to drive six weeks after surgery and might be able to return to light office work within six to eight weeks. Patients with physically demanding jobs may require a three month recovery period before returning to work.
Total Knee Replacement Articles
Learn more about total knee replacements with these educational articles from New York City hip surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik:
- Not your Grandparents Knee Joint Replacement
- Patients Happier with Robotic Assisted Knee Replacements
Call Us Immediately
If you’re suffering from knee pain, schedule an appointment with esteemed New York City knee surgeon Dr. Vigdorchik to accurately diagnose and treat your condition with the latest technology and surgical procedures. To set up an appointment, call (646) 754-2000.