The knee is the single largest joint in your entire body. A problem with your knees could make it painful and even impossible to perform many everyday tasks.
More than 700,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States, and our surgeons here at Palm Beach Gardens are among some of the most skilled physicians offering the procedure. In some cases, we can even offer a minimally invasive surgery, using smaller incisions to reduce your recovery time.
How it works
Surgeons will remove the damaged cartilage and bone, and replace them with metal and plastic implants designed to recreate the surface of the joint. These parts may be cemented or "press-fit" into the bone. In some cases, the kneecap will then be resurfaced and the area under the kneecap is cut and resurfaced with a plastic button. Your surgeon will then insert a plastic spacer between the metal pieces to create a smooth gliding surface.
What to expect
You will most likely be under anesthesia for a knee replacement, which usually takes about one or two hours. After surgery, you will be in the hospital for a few days. The day after surgery, you will be assisted with getting up and moving right away. You will receive pain medications and a physical therapist will work with you on specific exercises to regain your strength and range of motion.
Your hospital bed may also be equipped with a special device to slowly move your knee while you are in bed and help reduce swelling. The device, called a continuous passive motion (CPM) exercise machine, elevates your leg and improves blood circulation.
Help at home
Although you will be able to walk on crutches or with a walker after surgery, you will need help for several weeks once back at home. If you live alone, we can help you make arrangements to have someone help you or arrange for a short stay in an extended care facility.
You may also be instructed to make some minor adjustments around your house to make getting around after surgery easier. These may include:
- Installing handrails in your shower, bath and stairways
- Raising your toilet seat
- Using a shower bench or chair for bathing
- Removing all rugs, carpets and loose electrical cords
- Setting up a temporary living space on the same floor to avoid stairs
More than 90 percent of people report having substantially less pain and significant improvement in mobility after knee replacement surgery.
But it’s important to be aware that even normal use and activity can wear down your new knee implant. You will most likely need to avoid high-impact activities, such as running, jogging, jumping and other similar activities for the rest of your life after knee surgery. Walking, swimming, golf, driving, light hiking, biking and other low-impact sports can all be enjoyed after knee replacement surgery. If you follow doctor’s orders, most knee replacements can last for years.