Total Knee Replacement - Experience

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What is a total knee replacement?

A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the diseased knee joint is replaced with artificial material. The knee is a hinge joint which provides motion at the point where the thigh meets the lower leg. The thighbone (or femur) abuts the large bone of the lower leg (tibia) at the knee joint. During a total knee replacement, the end of the femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The end of the lower leg bone (tibia) is also removed and replaced with a channeled plastic piece with a metal stem. Depending on the condition of the kneecap portion of the knee joint, a plastic "button" may also be added under the kneecap surface. The artificial components of a total knee replacement are referred to as the prosthesis.

The posterior cruciate ligament is a tissue that normally stabilizes each side of the knee joint so that the lower leg cannot slide backward in relation to the thighbone. In total knee replacement surgery, this ligament is either retained, sacrificed, or substituted by a polyethylene post. Each of these various designs of total knee replacement has its benefits and risks.

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Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 28

I had right total knee replacement done 02/23/2016. There was a lot of post-operation pain. It has been over 9 weeks, and there is still a good bit of pain and stiffness, along with swelling. I am now also having problems with my back due to the way I walk. I can't walk for very long, without pain. I can't even go to the grocery store. I regret having the knee done. It might have been painful, but at least it worked better then than now.

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Comment from: Martin, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 29

My experience with a total knee replacement mirrors the time frame for recovery on this website. Left knee was damaged 30 years ago in sporting injury and after 2 reconstructions and several scrapes it would go no further at age 55. I had the operation in Feb 2016. I was back at work (office job), driving (auto) and walking unaided after 4 weeks. My key to recovery was a good exercise bike at home, pedal backwards with the seat as high as possible first and then work your seat down and then pedal forward. This also helps build those faded quadriceps. Also jamming your foot back under a normal seat and using the weight of your body to stretch the knee forward is a great exercise, especially if you are at work. I'm now 9 weeks post operation and have 112 degrees flex and aiming for 120. Pain and swelling has largely gone. I am off to the golf course soon.

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