A severely damaged knee joint can make it painfully impossible to walk or even sit comfortably. Total knee replacement can change that. The expert surgeons at North Point Orthopaedics in Munster and Crown Point, Indiana, are pleased to provide highly effective knee replacement surgeries that improve your quality of life by restoring your mobility and independence. Schedule a visit today. Call their office or request an appointment online.

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When should I consider total knee replacement?

The specialists at North Point Orthopaedics may recommend total knee replacement surgery when damage to your knee joint, usually due to osteoarthritis, causes persistent or worsening pain and disability that haven’t responded to other treatments. Before recommending the procedure, your surgeon also considers your age, overall health, weight, and activity level since these factors may influence your recovery and the success of total knee replacement. However, most people respond very well to the surgery and enjoy a much-improved quality of life and activity level once they’ve completed post-procedure rehab.

What happens during total knee replacement?

Your knees are the largest joints in your body. They function like hinges and include the lower end of the thigh bone (femur), the upper end of the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). The ends of these bones are protected by cartilage, which provides smooth, frictionless knee movement. A thin lining called the synovial membrane lubricates the joint, and other tissue structures such as the anterior cruciate ligament help hold the knee in place. The menisci, made up of another type of cartilage, act as cushions between the thigh bone and shinbone. Age-related wear and tear, inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and severe knee injuries can cause these structures to degrade over time. During total knee replacement, your North Point Orthopaedics surgeon removes damaged bone and cartilage from the thigh bone, shinbone, and patella before replacing them with artificial components (prosthesis) crafted from metal, polymers, and high-grade plastics.

What should I expect after knee replacement surgery?

Your surgeon discusses aftercare and recovery before scheduling knee replacement. Generally, however, you must begin walking and resume normal activities as soon as possible after total knee replacement surgery. You’ll likely meet with a physical therapist shortly after the procedure and, per your surgeon’s approval, most people begin lightly exercising the knee (as directed) within hours of waking from anesthesia. However, you might require crutches or a walker for several weeks after the surgery and should arrange home help with daily tasks such as cooking and laundry. Also, plan on a guided rehab program designed to strengthen your thigh and calf muscles and restore knee mobility. It may take several weeks to complete. Following instructions carefully during rehab helps ensure a successful recovery.