Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement

What is Knee Arthritis?

Arthritis of the knee is a progressive and debilitating condition that can ultimately lead to a lifestyle of minimal mobility.  This affects 20% of Americans over age 45 and can occur due to injuries occurring many years prior to the development of arthritis.  Certainly wear and tear and a physically taxing lifestyle can contribute to the development of arthritis but ultimately, genetics and body mass play large roles in whether or not an individual will develop knee arthritis.  

Early stage arthritis may involve just some mild clicking and pain but as the disease worsens, constant pain and limping become progressively worse.

What can be done for my arthritic knee short of a Knee Replacement?

  • Oral Tylenol or NSAID’s such as Ibuprofen or Aleve
  • Physical therapy in earlier stages of disease
  • Healthy diet and exercise to promote weight control
  • Cortisone injections can provide temporary relief
  • Viscosupplementation or “gel” injections
  • Platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections in certain patients

Knee arthroscopy has not been shown to make a significant difference in the treatment of isolated knee osteoarthritis although in certain patients with loose cartilage fragments or a specific pattern of meniscus damage, it can be helpful.

What happens during a Total Knee Replacement?

The worn bone and cartilage in an arthritic knee joint is removed and replaced with metal and polyethylene surfaces that are implanted directly onto the patella, femur and tibia.  This is done through an incision on the front of the knee and takes approximately an hour.  

What is the recovery from Total Knee replacement like?

In many patients, these are now safely done as an outpatient procedure.  Physical therapy is vital to full recovery and begins the afternoon of your surgical day.  Several months of therapy are often necessary but full weight bearing occurs on day 1 after knee replacement surgery.  Most people see near-complete recovery by 3 months after surgery and at that point may return to low-impact activities and sports. 

Drs. Knesek and Frush are highly experienced with primary and revision knee replacement.  Additionally, they were recruited to Ascension Providence due to their years of experience with robotic-assisted knee arthroplasty.