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: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 24

Two years ago, I had a total knee replacement. Post-surgery, the pain I now have is much worse than pre-surgery. I've been living with this for 2 years! The doctor admits he used a replacement that is too big for me. Now, I am having trouble with my other knee, probably because I have to baby the bad leg.

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Comment from: TEST4ECHOMAN, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 24

I had total knee replacement on August 24th 2015. My first 2 weeks of physiotherapy (PT) was a joke, to be nice about it. Prior to the surgery I was in the gym 4 times a week doing cardio for 5 years, recumbent bike, heavy weights for upper body, and a pre-knee-replacement leg regimen. I knew recovery wasn't going to be easy. Today 89 days post-operation, I struggle to get to 120 degrees of ROM (range of motion), my leg buckles, is always about a 6 to 8 out of 10. I wake up all night with pain, my knee is always 'pooling', swelling above, below and on the sides; looks like Jabba the Hutt's baby. Doctors, surgeons and PT folks all say it's normal; this isn't normal!

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