It’s very common for adults over 50 to have knee trouble of some sort. Our knees take a lot of the impact of walking, running, or jumping, and over time the joints begin to wear out. There are several ways of dealing with knee troubles, and frequently knee replacement surgery is the best way to alleviate the problem for the long-term.
Total Knee Replacement surgery can sometimes be avoided by other methods, but in serious cases it is often the only option. Typically, the damage that requires knee replacement is caused by arthritis, or normal wear and tear that the body experiences over the years. Generally, this damage starts to become a problem for people that are over 50, though sometimes younger people will need knee replacement surgery as a result of an accident or abnormality.
Common Causes of Knee Replacement:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Post-traumatic Arthritis
- Knee Trauma
- Worn Cartilage
The Basics of Knee Replacement:
The name “knee replacement” is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to this procedure. It’s really more of a resurfacing than a replacement. Knee replacement surgery requires an orthopedic surgeon to remove damaged cartilage and diseased or damaged bone and replace it with metal or plastic parts that are anatomically similar.
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement:
Knee replacement surgery used to require a large incision to allow the surgeon access to the knee, but with modern medical advances, some surgeons have the means to perform minimally invasive knee replacement. Dr. William Nordt in Richmond, VA is one of the many surgeons across the country to practice minimally invasive knee procedures.
With minimally invasive knee replacement, the surgeon only has to make a 4-6 inch incision as opposed to the 8-10 inch incision that knee replacement would usually require. With the help of computer guided instruments and special prosthetics, surgeons are able to avoid cutting major muscles, like the quadriceps, when inserting the new joint.
Studies have shown that there are many benefits to minimally invasive knee surgery, including shorter healing times, shorter hospital stays, and less blood loss during the procedure itself. Minimally invasive surgery has even been shown to improve movement after healing. Ask your surgeon about minimally invasive knee replacement and see if it is an option for your surgery.
If your orthopedic specialist has brought up the need for knee replacement surgery, you have nothing to worry about. It is a very common procedure, and it will thoroughly increase your quality of life after it has healed. It’s even easier if they are able to perform a minimally invasive surgery. After a little bit of rest and some physical therapy, your knee will feel good as new again.