Patient Care : Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement Procedure

At UHealth, our orthopaedic surgeons are fellowship-trained and recognized as experts in joint replacement.
Joints such as the knee can become damaged by diseases, injuries, and “wear and tear” usage eventually leading to arthritis. As the cartilage of the knee joint wears away, the normal smooth surfaces of the joint are replaced with roughened bone causing arthritis. Because of the loss of this gliding surface of the bone, people with arthritis may feel as though their knee is stiff and their motion is limited. Sometimes people actually feel a catching or clicking within the knee. General activities such as walking long distances, standing for long periods of time, or climbing stairs makes arthritis pain worse. When the arthritis becomes severe, the pain may occur even when sitting or lying down. As the cartilage is worn away preferentially on one side of the knee joint, people may find their knee will become more knock-kneed or bow-legged.

The results of total joint replacement are generally excellent. Patients experience significant pain relief and improved physical functioning. However, it is important to understand that there are some risks to the surgery, and full rehabilitation may take 3 to 6 months. In addition, the artificial joint may eventually loosen or wear out so that a second surgery is needed. However, at the 10 year mark, the success rate with most prostheses today is about 90%.

Your orthopaedic surgery at the University of Miami Hospital Total Joint program will discuss with you the type of knee replacement, the type of surgery, the potential risks, and the rehabilitation protocol with you before you make your decision.

Getting Ready for Total Knee Replacement Surgery

During the weeks before your surgery, many people will be asking about your insurance coverage, medical history, and legal arrangements. You may feel like you are answering the same questions over and over again, but this is necessary to meet the quality assurance and medical insurance guidelines. If you have everything written down, you can reduce your frustration and speed the process.

Less invasive surgical techniques are now the routine for total joint replacement surgery at the University of Miami Hospital. These approaches reduce tissue damage and allow patients to recover function and comfort more quickly. Not all patients are appropriate candidates for such approaches, however. The specialists at the University of Miami regularly handle the most complex joint conditions not handled elsewhere. At times other factors require more traditional approaches. A rapid recovery, along with a successful long-term result remain the most important goals.