If severe knee pain is limiting your lifestyle and non-surgical treatments are unable to relieve your pain, you should consider total knee replacement. This surgery can reduce pain, restore range of motion and increase mobility. Most people can return to an active life after the procedure.
Symptoms of common diseases and injuries best treated with total knee replacement include:
- Severe damage from arthritis or injury.
- Moderate or severe knee pain while resting.
- Little or no relief from anti-inflammatory treatments, physical therapy or walking aids such as canes.
- Difficulty walking or climbing stairs.
- Trouble rising from a seated position.
- Inflammation and swelling that don’t improve with rest or medications.
If you’ve exhausted other treatment options and knee pain is reducing your quality of life, talk with an orthopedist to see if total knee replacement can improve your mobility.
Visit our orthopedist list to schedule an appointment with a knee specialist.
Artificial Knee Joints Continue to Improve
When total knee replacement procedures were first performed, the life of an implant averaged 10 years. Since then, advances in medical technology have improved artificial knee joints. They can now withstand more stress and last longer. Medical research shows most of the latest implants last an average of 15-20 years.
Total Knee Replacement Procedure
During this surgery, the damaged parts of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) are replaced with implants.
Knee Surgery at BCH
Our knee replacement program has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® by demonstrating compliance with national standards for quality and safety. The Joint Commission is the nation’s largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. BCH is one of only five Colorado hospitals to have earned this important certification.
We use a patient-centered approach to medical care. Every patient receives a personalized care plan that guides the entire medical team -- from the technicians who prepare the surgical suite to the rehabilitation therapists who will help you take your first steps after surgery. We’ll chaperon you through every step of the surgical process and keep your family members in the loop, too.
We offer a comprehensive range of surgical services including a dedicated orthopedic nursing unit where all clinical staff specialize in the treatment of orthopedic patients. We also can provide physical therapy and home care if you need those services
Since we partner with many experienced and highly trained orthopedists, we can help you find a doctor who’s right for you.
Visit our orthopedic physicians list for information about the surgeons affiliated with Boulder Community Health.
Preparing for a Total Knee Replacement Procedure
If you and your physician decide knee replacement is the best treatment option for you, you’re invited to attend a free Pre-Surgery Joint Class to learn more about your procedure and how to prepare for it. This important education can help you get the best possible care from your medical team and improve your recovery.
Questions and Answers About Knee Replacement Surgery
How will I benefit from this procedure?
Total knee replacement surgery can help you reclaim an active life by reducing your knee pain, increasing your mobility and restoring your range of motion. Surgery is a good alternative when non-surgical treatments have failed to restore the health of your knee joint. This surgery has high success rates.
Can I resume my normal activities after surgery?
Full recovery from total knee replacement surgery takes 3 to 6 months, depending on the type of surgery, your overall health and the success of your rehabilitation. Most people can resume activities such as walking and driving, and some are able to swim, play golf and ride a bike.
Your commitment and cooperation are vital to a successful recovery. Following your orthopedist’s advice and adhering to your rehabilitation plan will increase your odds of resuming normal activities and reducing recovery time.
What are the risks of this surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is generally safe but, as with any surgery, complications can occur. The risks or complications are minimal and can be successfully treated. Possible complications of knee replacement include:
- Blood clots can form in your leg veins as a result of decreased movement of your leg after surgery or injury to your veins during the procedure. Orthopedists usually prescribe blood-thinning medications after surgery to prevent clots from forming. Exercise to increase blood flow through your leg veins can also reduce the risk of clots.
- Infections can occur at the site of your incision and in the tissues near your new knee. Most infections are treated with antibiotics, but a major infection near your new joint may require surgery to replace the knee joint.
- Implant problems -- Your knee joint may eventually wear out or the components may loosen. If you have knee replacement surgery when you're relatively young, you may need a second knee replacement within your lifetime. However, new materials are helping implants last longer, so a replacement may not be needed for 15–20 years.
- Neurovascular injury --The nerves or blood vessels in your knee may be injured during surgery. A major blood vessel injury may require surgical repair.
To learn more, visit our orthopedist list to make an appointment with a knee specialist.
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