Health Hub: What You Need To Know About Knee Replacement
AdventHealth's latest Health Hub post tackles knee replacement surgery.
I hope you are able to walk, run and dance through your entire life with your healthy natural joints. But,if you find that over time your knees have become arthritic and painful, knee replacement might be for you. Knees and several other joints are now replaceable through advanced technology and leading-edge surgical techniques — making for a faster recovery. Knee replacement surgery will help those currently suffering with pain to get back to doing what they love most.
WHO NEEDS KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY
Patients who have been suffering from severe arthritis in their knee for years and have exhausted all conservative treatment options are the prime candidates for knee replacement surgery.
Conservative treatments include:
• Weight loss
• Physical therapy
• Anti-inflammatory medications
• Cortisone injections
• Viscosupplementation or gel injections
Once all these conservative treatment options have been exhausted, it’s time to start looking at knee replacement surgery as your best option for maintaining your normal, active lifestyle and with the advancements in technology, robotic knee replacement surgery is helping patients heal more efficiently.
WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE AND AFTER SURGERY
The process starts with your general practitioner who will clear you for the procedure, and after that you’ll book your surgical appointment. The surgery itself is often fairly quick and can be done on an outpatient basis. Depending on your risk factors, you may be required to spend one night under observation while you recover. The AdventHealth Orthopedic Institute uses advanced techniques to provide a coordinated pathway to care. These techniques will be discussed at your appointment and an individualized treatment plan will be created for you. These important steps of the replacement process not only leave you with a familiar joint, but also have been shown to improve healing and recovery time as well as long-term comfort.
Physical therapy after surgery is essential to recovery. The surgery itself usually only lasts about an hour, and after that the recovery is done at home. You will have the support of a physical therapist starting from when you arrive home for up to 6 weeks after your surgery. Most of the physical therapy is done in an outpatient setting and can be completed at one of our many convenient clinics. At that point, the healing process is about 70 – 80 percent complete. After three months, you should be at 90 percent, with total normality restored in about a year and the last aches and pains finally fading away.
From walking your dog to holding a stretch, strong knees are the foundation for many of the activities you enjoy. You want strength, mobility, and the freedom to do the things you love. The goal of knee replacement surgery is always to get you back to living the life you want. Don’t let pain stand in your way.
Jose Amundaray, MDspecializes in adult joint reconstruction. He graduated from the University of Puerto Rico and has more than fifteen years of orthopedics experience. Dr. Amundaray is fluent in both English and Spanish. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and the Florida Orthopaedic Society.