Knee replacements are common surgeries performed in the United States today and are known for successful patient outcomes. Dr. Christensen will attempt more conservative forms of treatment for knee injuries and recommend knee replacement if those less invasive measures are not effective. Injuries to the knee or degenerative conditions such as arthritis often lead to the need for knee replacement. Knee replacements are often an effective treatment for patients who are unable to carry out normal day-to-day activities such as going up and down stairs, walking, or trouble sleeping due to swelling, stiffness, or pain in the knee. If a patient has bone-on-bone arthritis where all the cartilage that cushions the knee joint has worn away, knee replacement surgery is usually the only effective treatment to provide sustainable pain relief to help the patient return to normal activities.
During total knee replacement surgery, the damaged or degenerated parts of the joint are removed and implants made of metal alloys, ceramics, or strong plastic are inserted to replace the joint. The three bone surface areas that can be replaced during knee replacement surgery, include the lower end of the femur (thigh bone), the top surface of the tibia (One of the bones of the lower leg), and the back surface of the patella (knee cap). Dr. Christensen uses minimally invasive procedures to replace knee joints whenever possible. Patients who need total knee replacements will be advised of all options available and given the doctor’s opinion on which type of procedure will best meet the individual patient’s needs.
Following surgery, you will have a period of time to rest and allow your knee to heal. As you heal, you follow a physical therapy regime of increasing intensity to rebuild your strength in and around the joint. You will have regular follow-up appointments with Dr. Christensen to monitor your recovery and to make sure you are healing correctly. You may need to take some painkillers during the days directly following surgery. The doctor will provide you with customized post-operative instructions to ensure a safe and healthy recovery.
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