Knee replacement surgeries have helped millions of Americans walk easier, be more active, and return to their daily routines. When arthritis damages your knees to the point that your everyday activities are impacted and you’re unable to get relief, then it may be time to consider a knee replacement procedure. Here are some things you should know about this common orthopedic surgery.
If you’ve had pain for only a week or so, then of course a knee replacement surgery won’t be the first option offered by your orthopedist. Although most knee replacement procedures are successful, the surgery is still considered a sort of final option. Conservative measures will be attempted first.
These measures may include bracing, steroid or hyaluronic acid injections, physical therapy, and medications. If your symptoms of pain, stiffness, and restricted range of motion still persist, then your orthopedic surgeon may recommend knee replacement.
Your orthopedic surgeon will conduct all necessary testing before your surgery is scheduled. This testing will almost certainly include x-rays and may also consist of a MRI exam and blood tests.
If your diagnostic testing shows that your knee is suffering from problems like cartilage loss or bone spurs due to arthritis and conservative treatment has failed, then your orthopedic surgeon will likely offer knee replacement surgery. They will take you through the procedure, recovery, limitations, risks, and benefits in detail, as well as answer all your questions.
At this point, your surgeon will also let you know whether you need a partial knee replacement or complete knee replacement. Both procedures have advantages and disadvantages which your orthopedic surgeon will discuss with you.
The Mako robotic arm can be used in both partial and complete knee replacements. This system provides your orthopedic surgeon with an incredibly precise, three-dimensional image of your knee joint. This, in turn, allows your surgeon to avoid removing healthy bone and other tissue.
The result is that more of your natural knee structures remain. This can decrease recovery time as well as increase the chance of success of any necessary future prosthetic hardware replacement.
Dr. Derick Johnson of the Holland, MI Bone & Joint Center is trained, experienced, and certified in using Mako in partial and complete knee replacements. If physical therapy, exercises, and injections have failed you, come see Dr. Johnson for expert knee replacement advice.