Total Knee Replacement or TKR is an open surgical procedure that allows us to replace the damaged or arthritic knee joint with a resurfacing of the thigh bone(femur) and proximal leg bone(tibia) with metal surfaces. On the tibial surface, a polyethylene (plastic) insert, to restore the normal joint height, is placed. The polyethylene surface allows the knee joint to be replaced with a metal on plastic articulation. This allows for a smooth range of motion. The new design that we use is the DJO Surgical 3D knee replacement. This knee replacement is a special design that allows for achieving the best knee bend(flexion). The femur is able to rotate on the tibial polyethylene allowing for normal variations in rotation with motion. This advanced prosthesis is designed for more normal activities and longer lifespan.
Prior to surgery, you will meet with the total joint coordinator who will assist you in your preparation for surgery, monitor your recovery and transition to home. You will meet with a medical doctor to ensure that you are healthy and fit for surgery. You will meet with a physical therapist to understand the exercises before and after surgery.
A look at the surgery:
On the day of surgery, the anesthesiologist will discuss with you the best anesthesia for you including a nerve block. You will then be taken to the operating suite where a surgery will last approximately 2 hours. You will then be in the recovery room for approximately 40 minutes. You will then be transferred to your hospital room. The physical therapist will drop by that day to start some simple exercises.
We expect you to be hospitalized 1-2 nights in which time you recover from surgery achieving good pain control, use of the walker or crutches, independence in daily activities, and early exercises. After your discharge from the hospital, you will attend physical therapy as an outpatient.
The suture repairing your skin wound is under the skin and will reabsorb. We then follow you in our office for an initial wound check and at monthly intervals to ensure a complication-free recovery from your surgery. Your initial recovery will last 3-4 months. We then allow you to be on an independent exercise and activity program. We follow you at yearly intervals to ensure with x-rays that the prostheses continues to function as expected. We recommend antibiotics for any invasive procedures for the first six months after surgery if your immune system is not compromised. We like to discuss future athletic endeavors and activities to ensure the long-lasting function of your new knee replacement.
- Exercises After Total Joint Replacement (PDF)
- A few more Exercises after Total Knee Replacement
- After your knee replacement surgery