Although surgery is not the only treatment for joint pain, knee replacement surgery may be recommended if non-surgical therapies do not produce the desired results. Joints that are severely damaged by arthritis or injury can cause persistent symptoms – even when an individual is at rest – and may not always respond to medications, injections, and physical therapy. When conservative treatments, walking supports, and other options are no longer effective, joint replacement surgery may be considered.
During knee replacement surgery, the bones themselves are not removed, but rather “resurfaced” with plastic or metal components. Damaged cartilage and bone fragments are taken out and the joint is re-constructed using advanced surgical implants. The goal of the procedure is to create a smooth gliding surface that allows for a full range of pain-free motion.
At Florida Medical Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine & Spine, we use today’s most effective techniques and materials to improve the likelihood of significant, long-term pain relief. Many of our procedures are specifically intended to be less invasive and easier to recover from than traditional knee replacements. Dr. Gerald “Trey” Alexander III, M.D., our joint replacement specialist, performs:
- Muscle-sparing knee surgery
- Robot-assisted knee surgery
- Computer-guided knee surgery
- Minimally invasive knee surgery
Dr. Alexander also performs outpatient knee replacement surgery, which may be an option for certain individuals. To ensure that each patient undergoes the procedure that is most appropriate for their unique needs, Dr. Alexander conducts a comprehensive evaluation prior to making any recommendations. We understand that the decision to undergo knee replacement surgery is a highly complex one, and are committed to providing our patients with all of the information they need to confidently choose from their various options.
Triathlon Knee Replacement
We understand that making sure you know what to expect from the knee replacement experience is important to you. If you have additional questions as you are reading through this material, please reach out to us to discuss.
Diagnosis and treatment of knee pain
Each patient is unique, and can experience knee pain for different reasons. It’s important to talk to us about the reason for your knee pain so you can understand the treatment options available to you.
Arthritis, one possible reason for knee pain, can affect one or more of the three compartments of the knee. Take a look at the different areas where arthritis can affect the knee joint:
- the inside of the knee, or medial compartment
- the outside of the knee, or lateral compartment
- the top of the knee is also known as the kneecap, or patella compartment
Pain from arthritis and joint degeneration can be constant or come and go, occur with movement or after a period of rest, or be located in one spot or many parts of the body. If you haven’t experienced adequate relief with medication and other conservative treatments, total knee replacement may provide you with relief from your arthritis.
Total knee replacement surgery
Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which the diseased or damaged area of all three compartments of the knee is replaced with an artificial joint called an implant. The Triathlon Knee is different from traditional knee replacements because the single radius design of the Triathlon Knee means that as your knee flexes and extends, there is a constant center of rotation, like a circle. Take a look at how it works:
General Indications: Total knee replacement is intended for use in individuals with joint disease resulting from degenerative, rheumatoid and post-traumatic arthritis, and for moderate deformity of the knee.
Contraindications: Knee replacement surgery is not appropriate for patients with certain types of infections, any mental or neuromuscular disorder which would create an unacceptable risk of prosthesis instability, prosthesis fixation failure or complications in postoperative care, compromised bone stock, skeletal immaturity, severe instability of the knee, or excessive body weight.
Common Side Effects of Knee Replacement Surgery: As with any surgery, knee replacement surgery has serious risks which include, but are not limited to, peripheral neuropathies (nerve damage), circulatory compromise (including deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs)), genitourinary disorders (including kidney failure), gastrointestinal disorders (including paralytic ileus (loss of intestinal digestive movement)), vascular disorders (including thrombus (blood clots), blood loss, or changes in blood pressure or heart rhythm), bronchopulmonary disorders (including emboli, stroke or pneumonia), heart attack, and death.
Implant related risks which may lead to a revision include dislocation, loosening, fracture, nerve damage, heterotopic bone formation (abnormal bone growth in tissue), wear of the implant, metal sensitivity, soft tissue imbalance, osteolysis (localized progressive bone loss), and reaction to particle debris. Knee implants may not provide the same feel or performance characteristics experienced with a normal healthy joint.
The information presented is for educational purposes only. Speak to your doctor to decide if joint replacement surgery is right for you. Individual results vary and not all patients will receive the same postoperative activity level. The lifetime of a joint replacement is not infinite and varies with each individual. Your doctor will help counsel you about how to best maintain your activities in order to potentially prolong the lifetime of the device. Such strategies include not engaging in high-impact activities, such as running, as well as maintaining a healthy weight. Ask your doctor if the Triathlon knee is right for you.
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To schedule a knee replacement consultation with Dr. Alexander, contact Florida Medical Orthopaedics, Sports Medicine & Spine today.
Proudly Serving Tampa, Wesley Chapel and Zephyrhills, Florida