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Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee pain resulting from injuries or arthritis can make everyday activities much more difficult and can even keep you up at night. When non-operative treatments such as medications, activity modification, and the use of walking supports no longer relieve your knee pain and your limited level of activity is keeping you from things you enjoy, it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery.

Sauk Prairie Healthcare's Joint Health Center offers both total knee replacement and partial knee replacement surgery. Many factors will determine which treatment option is best for you. Your surgeon will perform a complete evaluation and discuss your knee replacement options with you.

Total Knee Replacement

A total knee replacement is really a bone and cartilage replacement with an artificial surface. The knee itself is not replaced, as is commonly thought, but rather an implant is inserted on the bone ends. This is done with a metal alloy on the femur and plastic spacer on the tibia and patella (kneecap). This creates a new, smooth cushion and a functioning joint that can reduce or eliminate pain.

With total knee replacement, the diseased bone and cartilage are removed and resurfaced with orthopedic implants designed to recreate the natural contours of healthy bones. Much like natural cartilage, the metal and polyethylene (plastic) knee replacement implants allow the bones to smoothly glide against each other.

Partial Knee Replacement

The partial knee implant is a unique alternative to total knee replacement for people whose disease is limited to just one area of the knee. Designed to repair only the medial portion of the knee, the partial knee replacement is less invasive than total knee replacement which typically means less post-operative pain and more rapid recovery.

Knee Replacement FAQ

What is osteoarthritis and why does my knee hurt?

Joint cartilage is a tough, smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones where joints are located. It helps cushion the bones during movement, and because it is smooth and slippery, it allows for motion with minimal friction. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is a wear-and-tear condition that destroys joint cartilage. Sometimes as the result of trauma, repetitive movement, or for no apparent reason, the cartilage wears down, exposing bone ends. This can occur quickly over months or may take years to occur. Cartilage destruction can result in painful bone-on-bone contact, along with swelling and loss of motion. Osteoarthritis usually occurs later in life and may affect only one joint or many joints.

What are the results of total knee replacement?

Results vary depending on the quality of the surrounding tissue, the severity of the arthritis at the time of surgery, the patient's activity level, and the patient's adherence to the doctor's orders.

When should I have knee replacement surgery?

Your Orthopedic surgeon will decide if you are a candidate for the surgery. This will be based on your history, exam, X-rays, and response to conservative treatment. The decision will then be yours.

Am I too old for knee replacement surgery?

Age is generally not a factor if you are in reasonable health and have the desire to continue living a productive, active life. You may be asked to see your personal physician for his/her opinion about your general health and readiness for surgery.

How long will my new knee last and will I need a second replacement?

All implants have a limited life expectancy depending on an individual's age, weight, activity level, and medical condition(s). A total joint implant's longevity will vary in every patient. It’s important to remember that an implant is a medical device subject to wear that may lead to mechanical failure. While it is important to follow all of your surgeon's recommendations after surgery, there is no guarantee that your particular implant will last for any specific length of time.

Why might I require revision knee replacement surgery?

Just as your original joint wears out, a joint replacement will wear over time as well. The most common reason for revision is loosening of the artificial surface from the bone. Wearing of the plastic spacer may also result in the need for a new spacer. Your surgeon will explain the possible complications associated with total knee replacement.

What to Expect of Knee Replacement Surgery at Sauk Prairie Healthcare

When you have knee replacement surgery at Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s Joint Health Center, you can expect to be actively involved in your treatment through each step of the program. Preparation, education, continuity of care, and a pre-planned discharge are essential for the best results. Every detail, from pre-operative teaching to post-operative exercising, is considered and reviewed with you. Our Orthopedics Nurse Navigator will be a resource for you, assisting by coordinating all pre-operative care and discharge planning.

Our team approach to care makes Sauk Prairie Healthcare's Joint Health Center unique. By incorporating family involvement, patients are encouraged and motivated in their recovery. We encourage you to have a family member or friend be your “coach” to help you stay on track as you recover from surgery.

Before your knee replacement surgery, we will set you up on our Guided Care Path, an online tool for you and your coach to follow from six weeks pre-op until three months post-op and beyond. The Guided Care Path is designed to help you know what to expect every step of the way, what you need to do, and how to care for your new knee.

Physical therapy is very important when you have knee replacement surgery. We get you out of bed the same day as surgery to take small steps. The next morning, we start you walking, then it’s group therapy twice a day, as well as individual walking goals. All of our hip replacement and knee replacement patients have physical therapy together, which helps to motivate everyone to do their exercises and reach their goals.

Contact Us for Orthopedics

Orthopedics Nurse Navigator: 608-643-7689
Request information online here.

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