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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See what others are saying

Comment from: dawnhudson67, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

Yesterday was 3 weeks since my total knee replacement. I"m doing pretty good. I was able to go upstairs to my bedroom on day 4. Pain has been manageable with medication. I was off walker on day 7 and off cane today. Staples came out today. I am bending at 107 with the goal of 120 minimum before therapy ends. I am going back to work half days starting next week for 1 week, then full time (I have moderate walking/standing at work). I still have some ankle and knee/lower thigh swelling. It really is my biggest annoyance at this point. Looking forward to getting the other one done and getting my life back. It has been a long 2 years since my knees went bad!

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Comment from: Gordon N Z, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 04

May 2008 introduced my first total knee replacement (TKR); free of support after approximately 8 weeks. My second TKR was effected in September 2008 with similar results to the first replacement, but an infection two years later created the need to open the second TKR, but this knee did not heal with full functionality for approximately two years. April 2014 demanded the replacement of my left hip joint and I am currently at the point of self-support after six weeks following the operation. All pain has not declined and the thigh above the TKR still displays bruise coloring and minor swelling. Personal option of this medical technology is an amazing relief of the arthritic pain I suffered for a number of years. Now I am looking forward to the second hip joint replacement.

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