The artificial joint is called a prosthesis. Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute has many orthopedic surgeons who specialize in knee replacements.
The most common reason to have a knee joint replaced is to relieve severe arthritis pain. Your doctor may recommend knee joint replacement if:
- You’re having symptoms of knee arthritis, such as:
- You can’t sleep through the night because of knee pain
- Your knee pain limits or keeps you from doing your normal activities, such as bathing, preparing meals or household chores
- You can’t walk and take care of yourself
- Your knee pain has not improved with other treatment
- You understand what surgery and recovery will be like
Knee joint replacement is usually done in people ages 60 and older. Younger people who have a knee joint replaced may put extra stress on the artificial knee and cause it to wear out early.
During knee joint replacement surgery, damaged cartilage and bone are removed from the knee joint. Man-made (artificial) pieces, called prostheses, are then placed in the knee. The surgery usually takes around two hours.
Usually, artificial knees have both metal and plastic parts. Some surgeons now use different materials, including metal on metal, ceramic on ceramic, or ceramic on plastic.
After the Procedure
You will stay in the hospital for a few days. During that time, you will recover from your anesthesia and from the surgery itself. You will be asked to start moving and walking as soon as the first day after surgery.
Full recovery will take three months to a year.
Some people need a short stay in a rehabilitation center after they leave the hospital and before they go home. At a rehab center, you will learn how to safely do your daily activities on your own.
The results of a total knee replacement are often excellent. The operation relieves pain for most people so they are able to regain full function.