Our knees are essential in helping facilitate movement, but as the largest joint in your body, they are also prone to degeneration as we get older. Unlike a fractured bone that eventually heals, cartilage loss in the knee joint can’t be regained or regrown by the body, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with knee pain for the rest of your days. Depending on your health and the extent of your knee joint damage, you may be an ideal candidate for knee replacement surgery.
But who is an ideal candidate, and what happens during the knee replacement operation? We answer those questions and more in today’s blog.
Ideal Knee Replacement Candidate
If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for a knee replacement operation:
- Knee pain or stiffness that limits your daily activities.
- Knee pain that is present while resting or sitting.
- Visible deformity of the knee joint under an imaging test.
- Knee issues are decreasing your quality of life.
- A diagnosis of knee arthritis.
While these symptoms suggest that you could benefit from knee replacement surgery, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be whisked away to the operating room if you present with these symptoms. Another key aspect in determining whether or not you’d be an ideal candidate for knee replacement is if other conservative treatment options have failed. If you’ve been unable to find relief from treatments like physical therapy, corticosteroid injections or pain medications, then your surgeon may begin moving forward with a knee replacement surgical plan.
Although it may not limit your opportunity to benefit from knee replacement surgery, the ideal candidate will also be in relatively good health, be under the age of 65, have no unrelated health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, and they’ll be at a healthy weight. Individuals over the age of 65, those with other health conditions and overweight individuals all have a higher likelihood of complications during and after surgery. Again, it may not prevent you from being able to have the knee replacement operation performed, but if you’re considering surgery, be mindful of the above health factors that you can control. Try to maintain a healthy weight, and let your surgeon know of any preexisting conditions you have or medications you take.
What to Expect During the Procedure
If your doctor believes that knee replacement surgery is the right option for you, here’s what you can expect during the procedure. Using minimally invasive techniques, Dr. Botero will make a small incision on the inner side of the front of your knee. A knee extension is then fitted in place to take tension off the soft tissues of the knee, which helps to reduce recovery time. From there, Dr. Botero carefully removes the arthritic bone without cutting nearby muscles or tendons. The precision-crafted prosthesis is then inserted and the knee joint is manipulated to ensure the device is in the perfect location to provide stability, balance and joint motion. Once Dr. Botero is confident in the device’s location, a polyethylene liner is placed onto the prosthesis. This liner acts similar to healthy knee cartilage, providing cushion and functionality to the knee joint. A second liner is inserted at the back of the knee cap to allow extended motion.
Once in place, Dr. Botero will disinfect the area using an anti-bacterial solution and administer an anti-inflammatory agent to help with the healing process before closing the incision site and sending you off to a recovery ward. The whole operation takes about an hour, and you’ll be back on your feet walking just a few hours after surgery. To learn more about the knee replacement operation, or to setup a consultation with Dr. Botero, reach out to his clinic today by calling (865)-558-4400.