What should I bring with me when I come for an appointment?
When you come for your appointment remember to bring the following:
- Driver's License or a valid ID
- Insurance information
- Referral Letter (if required)
- Reports, X-rays, MRI's, CT scans and any other relevant information
- List of medications (if any)
What is arthritis and how does it affect my knee?
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. This disease affects the tissue covering the ends of bones in a joint (cartilage). In a person with osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes damaged and worn out causing pain, swelling, stiffness and restricted movement in the affected knee. Over time, the cartilage wears out to the point of bone-on-bone contact.
How can I prevent arthritis from getting worse?
Unfortunately, we know that osteoarthritis will continue to progress with time as it is a degenerative process. There are no medications or supplements that have been proven to prevent arthritis. However, there are several things you can do to try to prevent symptoms from getting worse. This includes:
- Maintain a healthy weight/lose weight if you are overweight.
- Light to moderate exercise. Stay active to improve muscle strength and reduce joint pain and stiffness.
- Avoid injury and falls. Use a cane or walker if needed for support.
What is a total knee replacement?
A Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is a surgery that replaces an arthritic knee joint with artificial metal or plastic replacement parts called the ‘prostheses’. The procedure is usually recommended for older patients who suffer from pain and loss of function from arthritis and have failed results from other conservative methods of therapy. The typical knee replacement replaces the ends of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) with plastic inserted between them, and also under the patella (knee cap), to create a smooth cushioning effect much like your original healthy cartilage.
What is knee arthroscopy?
This is an outpatient minimally invasive surgery where a small digital camera is inserted into your knee joint through a small 3-4mm incision. Two additional small incisions are made so small tools can be used to remove or repair tears of the cartilage rings in your knee called a meniscus or to remove loose pieces of cartilage. It is used to relieve the symptoms of instability and pain associated with meniscus tears but it will not relieve pain associated with arthritis. If you already have severe arthritis in the knee, this procedure is typically not a good option.
How long will my new knee last?
Although there are no guarantees regarding how long your knee will last, current studies indicate that the average knee prosthesis lasts for 15 to 20 years. Various factors such as weight, activity level, and bone quality can affect the usable life. However, it is also possible that the knee could fail very early on for reasons such as infection, injury, fracture, or dislocation. You may require a knee revision surgery in the future if your knee replacement fails.
Am I a candidate for outpatient knee replacement?
If you are in good health overall, we prefer to perform knee replacement as an outpatient in our surgery center where you go home the same day. Unfortunately, Medicare patients are not a candidate for outpatient surgery at this time, but most other insurance companies will approve it. If you have any significant heart or lung problems, uncontrolled diabetes, sleep apnea, or other significant underlying medical problems, you may need to stay one night in the hospital.
How long will I be in the hospital?
If you are not a candidate for outpatient surgery, most patients stay only 1 night in the hospital then choose to go home with home health care. If there are any significant medical complications during your operation or admission, you may have to stay longer until discharge criteria are met.
Who will perform the surgery?
Dr. Daley will perform the surgery with the assistance of his physician assistant, Jessica Rodriguez, PA-C, and an additional surgical assistant. He does not use any residents during surgery.
How long is the recovery after total knee replacement?
Remember, every patient is different and recovery times can greatly vary. As a general guideline, by 6 weeks most patients are doing fairly well. At 3 months, most patients are close to a full recovery with minor improvements still seen over the next year.
When can I return to work after knee replacement?
This depends on the type of work you do, as well as your company’s policies on allowing you to return to work with restrictions. For the first few weeks, you should see recovering from your operation as your full-time job. Patients with seated jobs who can return part-time to start with, may go back in as little as 2-3 weeks although this may be very difficult. Most people will need to take more time off. Patients with more strenuous jobs may be off 2-3 months. Remember, this varies based on each individual patient and their progress. Also, keep in mind that you will be taking narcotic pain medications which can distort your thinking, and you will be unable to drive for possibly 6 weeks.
What limitations do I have regarding my total knee replacement going forward?
In general, you should let your symptoms be your guide in returning to activity. Any high-impact activity, including running, pivoting/cutting type activities, jumping, and downhill skiing should be avoided forever to elongate the life of your implant. You should also avoid kneeling, deep squatting, and lifting more than 50 pounds. If you have any specific questions, please ask Dr. Daley.