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: Jayne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 12

I am 9 weeks post-surgery for total knee replacement. I use no walker or cane, my range of motion is at 121, and I can walk for about a half hour. I stopped prescription pain medicines after 10 days, but I have to take 2 arthritis strength acetaminophen and 2 ibuprofen every 6 hours. I still have severe pain in the evenings and wake up crying in my sleep. But I'm mostly ok during the day. I wish I had researched the time it would take to recover, I think I would have done both knees. Physiotherapist told me I won't feel 100 percent like myself for about a year. Who knew!

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Comment from: CJ, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 17

I had a total knee replacement 6 weeks ago. After reading this site I feel incredibly blessed to be having the experience I am having. I did a lot of work prior to surgery. My diet was very clean and full of raw foods, I did a lot of calf and feet exercises along with yoga stretching. I used natural products on my knee in preparation. I have 135 degree bend, full extension and you can hardly see my scar! (I made an essential oil, vitamin E, and coconut oil salve). My issue is I need the other knee done and have scheduled for late June. Not really excited to do this again but I want my life back.

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