- Body Composition Testing
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- - Osteoporosis
- - Appointment Visits
- - Safety & Treatment
- Pediatric Orthopedics
- Spine & Pain Clinic
- Sports Medicine
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- Total Ankle Replacement
- Total Hip Replacement
- Total Knee Replacement
- Minimally Invasive Procedures
- - Direct Anterior Hip Replacement
- - Direct Superior Hip Replacement
- - Hip Arthroscopy
- - Meniscal Transplant
- - Mini-Posterior Hip Replacement
- - Regenerative Orthopedics
- - PRP Therapy
- - MACI
- - IRAP
- - FloGraft
When It’s Recommended
While the majority of patients who undergo a total knee replacement (also called knee arthroplasty) are between 50 to 80 years old, candidates are selected based upon their pain and disability rather than their age. Total knee replacements are common among people whose knees have been severely damaged by arthritis or injury and have found that rest, medications and conservative treatments have not substantially improved their condition.
The decision to have total knee replacement surgery should be a collaborative one among you, your family, your primary care physician and your Iowa Ortho hip and knee surgeon. The decision-making process usually starts with a referral by your primary care physician to Iowa Ortho for an initial evaluation.
How it Works
Improvements in surgical materials and techniques since knee replacement surgery was first performed in 1968 have significantly increased the procedure’s effectiveness. Nowadays more than 600,000 total knee replacements are done each year in the U.S., according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The knee surgery lasts one to two hours and consists of four basic steps:
1. Damaged cartilage surfaces and small amount of underlying bone is removed from ends of the femur and tibia.
2. New metal surfaces are cemented onto the ends of the femur and tibia to replace the cartilage and bone removed.
3. The kneecap’s undersurface is cut and then resurfaced with a plastic button. (Some surgeons choose not to resurface the patella, depending on the case).
4. A plastic spacer is placed between the femoral and tibial metal components to construct a smooth gliding surface. You can expect to stay in the hospital for one or two nights after your surgery. Physical therapy will be an integral part of your recovery process, and release from the hospital is largely dependent on your ability to mobilize from bed/chair and to walk by yourself.
Total knee replacement surgery is one of the most successful procedures that orthopedic surgeons perform. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, over 90% of patients who have a knee replacement have a significant reduction of knee pain and are more easily able to perform normal daily activities.
Over time, the plastic spacer of every knee replacement implant will wear with daily use and activity. This potential wear is why it is important for individuals to remain at a healthy body weight and why most surgeons advise against excessive activity including running or jogging, jumping and other high-impact sports after knee replacement surgery.
The following are activities that are allowed and even encouraged, in order to help maintain proper strength and mobility after a total knee replacement:
- Light hiking
- Ballroom dancing
- Other low-impact activities
Although this procedure is elective, it is still covered by the majority of insurance companies; however, some policies do require a small co-pay.
Although the provided information highlights the major aspects of knee replacement surgery, it is not a substitute for a clinical consultation in which an Iowa Ortho hip and knee specialist can carefully evaluate your condition and directly answer your questions. To request an appointment, click here or call our office at 515-247-8400.