Knee Replacement

When Do I Need Knee Replacement Surgery?

If severe knee pain is still prevalent after taking self-care measures, it might be time for knee replacement surgery. The experts at Banner Health are here to guide you through this process. Talk to your doctor to see if knee replacement surgery is right for you.

Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries

There are two different types of knee replacement surgeries. Your doctor will determine the best one for you depending on your prognosis.

Total Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement surgery is a procedure where damaged parts of the knee are replaced by artificial parts. The artificial parts are typically made of metal and plastic. During this surgery, the muscles and ligaments around the knees are separated to expose the knee joint. The ends of the shinbone and thigh bone are removed, and the artificial parts are cemented into place.

Total knee replacement surgery is usually an option for people over 55 whose knees are damaged by trauma, arthritis or other diseases of the joint that cause severe pain in the knee.

Partial Knee Replacement

Partial knee replacement surgery is an alternative to total knee replacement. Patients are candidates for this type of surgery when damage is only found in one particular part of the knee. Partial knee replacement can help alleviate pain on the inside (medial), outside (lateral) or kneecap part of the knee.

Partial knee replacement surgeries remove the damaged tissue and replace it with a prosthetic. Partial knee replacements require a smaller incision, which means less recovery time for patients.

How Do I Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery?

In order to prepare for knee replacement surgery, your doctor will discuss the risks of surgery, suggest other appointments you’ll need to make, let you know what drugs you need to stop taking leading up to your surgery and inform you of what you should bring with you to the hospital.

Your doctor will give you more specific instructions depending on your particular conditions.

What is the Recovery Time After Knee Replacement Surgery?

After surgery, your doctor will be on the lookout for any complications associated with infection or anesthesia.

It’s crucial to get up, start moving and using your new knee as soon as possible. Within 24 hours after surgery, your physical therapist will help you develop a plan to strengthen your muscles and help you walk with an assistive device. Patients will need to use an assistive device and do regular physical therapy for about six to twelve weeks after knee replacement surgery.

Let your doctor know if you see any other complications after surgery, like a misaligned prosthesis, an allergic reaction or a stiff knee.

Once your total knee replacement has healed, the new joint should last about 20 years or longer. If you had partial knee replacement surgery, you’re more likely to need a repeat operation after about ten years.

Banner Health's comprehensive Total Knee Replacement Program provides our patients with a detailed roadmap on what to expect before, during and after surgery. Additionally, our orthopedic navigators are available to answer questions and guide you through your surgical journey.