The orthopedic surgeons at Cedars-Sinai Marina del Rey Hospital are trained and experienced in knee replacement surgeries.
The cartilage in the knees can be damaged by a number of factors, such as trauma, progressive arthritis, or other diseases of the joint. Some of them can be treated with medication, but if the pain and stiffness hinder your day-to-day life greatly, you may need knee replacement surgery.
The knee is made up of two joints: the one between the femur and the tibia, and the one between the femur and the kneecap. The knee is both the largest and most complicated joint in the human body. The knee is responsible for multiple types of movements, such as extensions, flexions, and rotations. The cartilage at the end of the bones permits the bones to smoothly rub against each other and execute a full movement. Unfortunately, due to diseases or injuries, the cartilage can get damaged, and thus movement becomes stiff and painful.
Knee replacement surgery is the procedure in which the doctor removes parts of the diseased bones and replaces them with a prosthesis.
The patient is put under general anesthesia to ensure that he doesn’t feel pain and that he doesn’t move during the procedure. The surgeon will make a longitudinal incision over the kneecap.
Then, he will set aside the kneecap and carefully study the bones and the amount of damage they have sustained. He will take a special tool that will fixate on each of the 3 bones and, based on the discovery, he will remove the damaged cartilage and bone segments of the femur, the tibia, and, if necessary, the kneecap.
After this is done, the doctor will hollow special places on the bones and place a prosthesis made of metal and plastic that will replace the removed parts, gluing them with bone cement. The joints will be put back together and, after testing if they fit and move well, the surgeon will close the wound, stitching and bandaging it.
These are the benefits of this procedure:
After the surgery, patients will be taken to their room, where they will be monitored closely. The patient will remain in the hospital for another week and, after that, he will be discharged. Physical therapy is extremely important and usually begins as soon as the patient is able to perform it. Patients will need to walk using crutches or walkers and some may need to use a leg brace. After 6 weeks, they should be able to resume their normal activities. With this said, it could take between 4 months and 1 year for a patient to be able to perform all the activities he used to be able to do.
No surgeries come without risks and knee replacement surgery is no different. A patient might form blood clots at the site of the surgery and these might travel through the blood to other organs. Other complications may include infection, local bleeding, chronic knee pain, and leg stiffness.