Knee replacement surgery advances are improving patients’ experiences and outcomes. Knee surgery — or even partial knee replacement — is often the solution for advanced knee arthritis. Today you can regain significant mobility and flexibility after knee replacement thanks to advances in orthopedic surgery technology, materials and techniques. Knee replacement recovery times also have improved. This knee replacement surgery video covers what you can expect out of these knee joint replacement advances.
In this knee replacement video, a group of knee surgeons (Drs. Bernardo Ferrari, Jeffrey Kliman, John Parker, James Page and Rodney Wong) answer common questions about knee replacement operations and discuss some of the newest advances in the field.
Knee replacement surgery has been around for more than 30 years and is an incredibly successful operation. In the past the past, when a person had bad arthritis of the knee, they were pretty much out of luck other than taking aspirin. They’d be debilitated and limited in their activities. So, when a person has pain, stiffness, and their life is becoming restricted by that, that’s when it’s time to consider knee replacement. We always do non-surgical treatment first. When that doesn’t work anymore, then it’s time to consider knee replacement. About 500,000 a year are done, and most patients who have gone through this basically say that they wish they had done it sooner.
With a knee replacement surgery, we’re essentially resurfacing the inside of the knee to replace the worn out, painful cartilage. In a normal knee, you have smooth slippery surfaces that allow the knee to glide properly. But when it becomes arthritic, it’s quite pitted and rough, and you have now very painful surfaces trying to glide past each other, and they simply can’t anymore.
The way we do the surgery is to replace the worn out cartilage with prosthetic materials that resurface the end of the femur and tibia, and that allows for pain-free smooth motion again.
The knee replacement can be a complete knee replacement or a partial knee replacement where only part of the knee is replaced. If there’s only one area that’s involved and damaged, then a total need replacement is not always necessary. More often than not we find that total replacement is the best way to go however.
The materials have improved tremendously in the last 20 years. The metal material is essentially the same. However, the plastic material is improved in terms of its durability and strength.
What we’ve found is that for knee replacements to last hopefully a lifetime, they need to be inserted in perfect alignment. The trend now is to go with navigation pretty much as you navigate in your automobile. Navigation can be done during surgery, intra-operatively, and there are devices and our computers to assist us in perfect placement of the components. This has been shown to improve the alignment and thereby should improve the longevity of the implant.
Now the newest trend is to actually do a lot of this work, which we used to do during the surgery, ahead of time. So we can actually base the alignment cutting blocks on a patient’s MRI or a CAT scan. By taking an MRI ahead of time of the knee, the hip, and the ankle, we can get custom made alignment blocks made for the patient so that the surgery will go much faster and the cuts will be absolutely accurate and precise.
The time now in the hospital, based on our newest techniques, is only a two day time frame. A lot of people stay three days, but now with tissue sparing techniques, we spare the quadriceps muscle, we don’t violate that during the surgery. People are able to get up and walk even the day of and the day after surgery. So the hospital stay is much shorter.
The recovery time depends on how active you were before the surgery. Some people are using a walker before the surgery. Some people are just impaired a little bit while there playing tennis. If you’re a community ambulator, you’re able to get back in the community, typically within a month you’re able to drive, go to the store, and go to the mall that type of thing. Within a month sports will depend on how active you wish to be. Golfing usually within two to three months you’ll be able to start hitting balls again.
Orthopedic Institute at El Camino Hospital —
Mountain View Campus
2500 Grant Road Mountain View.
CA 94040 (650) 962-4914