Knee Arthroplasty

Knee arthroplasty or knee replacement is an option for people who have damaged knee joints. The procedure is most often carried in facilities specializing in orthopedic care. These may be dedicated orthopedic services, such as those provided by the Core Institute, or they can be departments of general medical care in larger hospitals. In Southfield MI, knee arthroplasty is carried out in the Providence Hospital Southfield campus.

The knee is the part of the bone structure that connects the tibia, or shin bone, in the lower leg to the femur, or thigh bone, in the upper leg. Like all joints, the knee facilitates the movement of the bones it connects by providing a smooth interface between them.

However, when either of the connected bones is damaged, for example as a result of osteoarthritis or injury, the bones are no longer able to move smoothly. Instead, they grate, and this causes pain and discomfort. This type of damage tends to get worse over time. There is no way to repair the damaged bone, so the only way to restore the joint is to replace the damaged areas with man-made components.

Knee Arthroplasty

Diagnosis

If you suffer from persistent or recurring knee pain, you should see your doctor. Your doctor will discuss your general health and lifestyle, and may suggest taking a fluid sample from your knee for analysis. If the sample does not show any problems, such as joint infection or gout, the next stage may be to arrange X-rays or MRI scans of the joint.

Yet another diagnostic process is the use of a procedure known as arthroscopy. An orthopedic surgeon will insert a special kind of scope into the joint via a small incision. This lets the surgeon look for signs of damage, and assess what the best course of treatment is. Sometimes, problems revealed by the arthroscopy can be repaired via the same incision. Recovery times from this type of repair are far shorter than those from arthroplasty.

Having the operation

The operation is carried out under anesthetic. Your surgeon may give you the choice of having a general anesthetic, where you are completely unconscious, or local anesthesia, where you remain awake but can feel nothing below the waist. The length of time the operation takes varies, as does the recovery time.

You can expect to remain in hospital for three to five days, but you will start using your new joint within 24 hours. You will need some kind of walking aid in the first few days, but you should be walking normally within a month.

Aftercare

You will normally be expected to have consultations with a physical therapist after your arthroplasty. The therapist may call to your home, or you may attend a clinic. You need to give your body time to adjust to your new knee before you put a lot of strain in it, so this means not kneeling on it or twisting it.

If you need more information about arthroplasty, contact our Southfield MI knee arthroplasty experts today!