Knee Replacement Surgery Monterey, CA

Knee replacement surgery (also known as “knee arthroplasty”), is a common procedure that involves the replacement of a damaged or worn-out knee joint with an artificial one. This surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have severe knee pain and limited mobility due to conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other kinds of knee-related injuries. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about knee replacement surgery, including the risks, benefits, and what to expect during and after the procedure.

What is Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is a procedure in which a damaged or diseased knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint made of metal, plastic, or a combination of both. The goal of this surgery is to relieve pain, improve mobility, and restore function in the knee joint.

Am I a Candidate for Knee Replacement Surgery?

If you are experiencing severe knee pain that is not responsive to other treatments, you may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery. Some common conditions that may lead to the need for knee replacement surgery include:

  • Osteoarthritis: This is the most common reason for knee replacement surgery. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes the cartilage in the knee joint to wear down over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: This is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, including the knee joint. Over time, this inflammation can damage the cartilage and lead to the need for knee replacement surgery.
  • Injury: A severe injury to the knee, such as a fracture or torn ligament, may also require knee replacement surgery if the damage is too severe to be repaired.

If you are experiencing chronic knee pain and have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, it is important to consult with your doctor to determine if knee replacement surgery is the best option for you.

What are the Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery?

As with any surgery, there are risks associated with knee replacement surgery. These risks may include:

  • Infection: There is a risk of infection with any surgery, and knee replacement surgery is no exception. Your doctor will take precautions to reduce the risk of infection, such as prescribing antibiotics and using sterile techniques during the operation.
  • Blood clots: Blood clots can form in the legs after knee replacement surgery, which can be dangerous if they travel to the lungs. Your doctor may prescribe blood thinners or recommend exercises to prevent blood clots from forming.
  • Nerve or blood vessel damage: During the surgery, there is a risk of damaging nerves or blood vessels near the knee joint. This can lead to numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg. In rare cases, additional surgery may be required to repair the damage.
  • Allergic reaction: Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to the materials used in the artificial knee joint. This is rare, but it is important to discuss any allergies with your doctor before the surgery.

It is important to discuss these risks with your doctor and weigh them against the overall benefits of knee replacement surgery.

Dangers of Delaying Knee Replacement Surgery

If you have been recommended for knee replacement surgery, do not delay the procedure. Delaying surgery can lead to further damage to the knee joint and may make the surgery more complicated. Potential dangers of delaying knee replacement surgery include:

Increased pain and discomfort 

As the knee joint continues to deteriorate, you may experience increased pain and discomfort, making it difficult to perform daily activities.

Limited mobility

As the knee joint becomes more damaged, it may become more difficult to move the knee, leading to limited mobility and difficulty performing tasks such as walking or climbing stairs.

Muscle weakness

When the knee joint is damaged, muscles surrounding the knee may also weaken. This can lead to added difficulty with mobility and may require additional rehabilitation after surgery.

Increased risk of complications

As the knee joint deteriorates, the surgery may become more complicated, increasing the risk of complications during and after the procedure.

If you have been recommended for knee replacement surgery, it is important to discuss the risks of delaying the surgery with your doctor and make a decision that is best for your individual situation.

What to Expect During Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is typically performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be asleep during the procedure. The surgery itself usually takes 1-2 hours, and you will likely spend a few hours in the recovery room before being moved to a hospital room.

During the surgery, your doctor will make an incision in the front of the knee and remove the damaged cartilage and bone. The artificial joint will then be attached to the remaining bone using cement or a special coating that allows the bone to grow into the artificial joint.

After the surgery, you will be monitored in the hospital for a few days before being discharged. Your doctor will provide instructions for post-surgery care, including pain management, physical therapy, and follow-up appointments.

Is Knee Replacement Surgery Outpatient?

In some cases, knee replacement surgery may be performed on an outpatient basis, which means you will be able to go home the same day as the surgery. However, this is not always the case. Your doctor will determine the best course of action based on your individual situation.

Factors that may determine if you are a candidate for outpatient knee replacement surgery include your overall health, the complexity of the operation, and your ability to have a caregiver at home to assist with recovery.

Recovery and Rehabilitation After Knee Replacement Surgery

Recovery and rehabilitation after knee replacement surgery are crucial for a successful outcome. Your doctor will provide specific instructions for your recovery, but some general guidelines will likely include pain management, physical therapy, and follow-up appointments to monitor your progress and adjust your recovery plan if necessary.

It is important to follow all post-surgery instructions and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure a successful recovery.

If you have been recommended for knee replacement surgery, it is important to discuss the procedure with your doctor and make an informed decision about your treatment plan. With proper care and rehabilitation, knee replacement surgery can help you regain function in your knees and improve your quality of life.