If it is determined that your knee is too worn for a partial knee replacement, a total knee replacement is the best procedure to treat your arthritic knee. Total knee replacement utilizes precision cutting guides to remove the diseased bone and cartilage from your knee and replace it with an artificial joint. As shown in the picture, an artificial knee consists of a metal cap on the end of your thigh bone (femur), a metal plate on the top of your shin (tibia), and a plastic liner between the two metal parts. To perform a traditional knee replacement, our surgeons use an 8- to 10-inch vertical incision over the front of the knee to expose the joint. The surgeon will then:
- Prepare the bone. The damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the femur and tibia are removed along with a small amount of underlying bone.
- Position the metal implants. The removed cartilage and bone is replaced with metal components that recreate the surface of the joint.
- Resurface the patella. The undersurface of the patella (kneecap) is cut and resurfaced with a plastic button. Some surgeons do not resurface the patella, depending on the case.
- Insert a spacer. A plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to create a smooth gliding surface.
Through the expertise of Dr. Hofmann, we have incorporated over 30 years of knowledge in knee replacement into our practice and utilize the latest technology and implants. After you have a knee replacement at Hofmann Arthritis Institute, you will be up and walking with assistance on the day of surgery.
You should return to light activity after 3 weeks, and should return to most activities such as golf and hiking after 3 months. After after 6 months, patients return to full activity and can resume activities as strenuous as skiing. Although the lifespan of a knee replacement is dependent on many factors, a knee replacement should last 15-20 years. Most often, if another operation is required after 15-20 years, it is a simple operation that replaces the worn plastic between the metal parts.
Please call our office at 801-355-6468 for more information or to make an appointment..