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Questions To Ask Before Knee Surgery

Here’s a list of questions that may be helpful to ask your doctor before your knee surgery. We suggest you print this list and take it with you on your appointment.

  1. What complications may occur with this kind of surgery?
  2. What is the expected recovery time?

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Preparing yourself for surgery

If you and your surgeon decide that knee replacement is right for you, a date will be scheduled for your surgery. Several things may be necessary to prepare for surgery. For example, your surgeon might ask you to have a physical examination by an internist or your regular doctor.


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What Is Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery?

Traditional knee replacement surgery involves a long incision (8 to 12 inches) and a lengthy rehabilitation. Over the past decade, however, minimally invasive techniques have been developed to successfully implant the very same clinically proven joints. Today, there are minimally invasive procedures for both partial and total knee replacements.


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Understanding how your knee works

The knee is the largest joint in the body. A healthy knee moves easily, allowing you to walk, turn, and do many other activities without pain. A complex network of bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons work together to make a knee flexible.

There are three bones in your knee joint.


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Knee Pain Relief: Surgical Treatment Options

Most people will not need knee surgery but, in many cases, surgery may be effective in minimizing or eliminating your knee pain when other treatment methods have failed. Many advances have been made, allowing for surgical procedures that are much less invasive. Such minimally invasive procedures are revolutionizing the way patients experience and recover from surgery, often resulting in less postoperative pain, a faster recovery period, and a shorter hospital stay.


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When should I talk to my doctor about knee replacement surgery?

That’s a question you and your orthopedic surgeon will have to answer together. But when knee pain is so bad it actually interferes with the things you want or need to do, the time may be right.

Knee replacement may be an option when nonsurgical interventions such as medication, physical therapy, and the use of a cane or other walking aid no longer help alleviate the pain.


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When Is Knee Surgery Not Appropriate?

Even though knee surgery may be an effective way to minimize or eliminate knee pain, your doctor may decide that knee replacement surgery is not appropriate for you. Some reasons could include:

  • You have an infection or a history of infection
  • You don’t have enough bone, or the bone is not strong enough to support a new knee
  • You have injured nerves in your knee area
  • You have injured or nonfunctional knee muscles
  • Your knee is severely unstable
  • Your bones are not fully grown or developed
  • You have noticeable bone loss or a severe decrease in bone mass (osteoporosis)
  • Your knee joint has been previously fused and is stable, functional, and painless
  • You have rheumatoid arthritis and active/history of skin lesions (due to increased risk of infection)

 

 


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What Is Total Knee Replacement?

A total knee replacement is usually considered when the surfaces on both sides of the bones, as well as the underside of the patella, are significantly damaged.

In total knee replacement surgery, the surface of the thighbone (femur) is replaced with a contoured metal component designed to fit the curve of your bone.


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What Is The Right Knee Surgery For Me?

Knee replacements have been highly successful for more than 30 years. According to the US National Institutes of Health, 9 out of 10 patients who undergo the procedure report improved pain relief, knee function, and overall health-related quality of life.1

If the surfaces on both sides of the bones, as well as the underside of the patella, are significantly damaged, a total knee replacement is usually considered.


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What Is Patello-Femoral Knee Replacement?

Your knee joint is comprised of three bones. Your thighbone (femur) sits on top of your shinbone (tibia). When you bend or straighten your knee, the rounded end of your thighbone rolls and glides across the relatively flat upper surface of your shinbone. The third bone is often called the kneecap (patella), which is attached to the muscles, allowing you to straighten your knee.


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