Knee Replacement Surgery
Award-winning knee care is available in Kansas City, Kan.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, there are roughly 10.4 million patient visits to doctors’ offices because of common knee injuries such as fractures, dislocations, sprains, and ligament tears. A knee injury is one of the most common reasons people see their doctors.
That’s because the knee is a complex joint with many components, making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries and conditions. Some of these include arthritis, fractures, anterior cruciate ligament injuries, meniscal tears and tendon tears. Many knee injuries can be successfully treated with simple measures, such as bracing and rehabilitation exercises. Other injuries may require surgery to correct.
When this is the case, Providence Medical Center’s fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons offer patients state-of-the-art treatments including knee arthroscopy and knee replacement surgery.
An arthroscopy is an outpatient surgery performed through small incisions. During the procedure, your orthopedic surgeon inserts the arthroscope (a small camera instrument about the size of a pencil) into your knee joint. The arthroscope sends the image to a television monitor. On the monitor, your surgeon can see the structures of the knee in detail.
Your surgeon can use arthroscopy to feel, repair or remove damaged tissue. To do this, small surgical instruments are inserted through other incisions around your knee.
Arthroscopy for the knee is most commonly used to:
- Remove or repair of torn meniscal cartilage.
- Reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
- Trim off torn pieces of articular cartilage.
- Remove loose fragments of bone or cartilage.
- Remove inflamed synovial tissue.
Most patients leave the hospital an hour or two after surgery, then continue recovery at home, followed by outpatient rehabilitation if ordered by the doctor.
Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery was first performed in 1968. Since then, improvements in surgical materials and techniques have greatly increased its effectiveness. Total knee replacements are one of the most successful procedures in medicine. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States.
The decision to have knee replacement surgery should be a cooperative one made by you, your family, your primary care doctor, and your orthopedic surgeon. The process of making this decision typically begins with a referral from your doctor to an orthopedic surgeon for an initial evaluation.
Recommendations for surgery are based on your pain and disability. Your doctor may recommend a knee replacement if your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury and you have difficulty performing daily tasks, such as walking or climbing the stairs.
During a total knee replacement (also called total knee arthroplasty), the orthopedic surgeon removes the damaged cartilage and bone, and then positions the new metal and plastic implants to restore the alignment and function of your knee.
Patients who take part in the Providence Joint Center program typically spend three to four days in the hospital, then return home to continue their recovery. Many participate in the Providence Outpatient Rehabilitation program, which can speed the return to daily activities.