Helpful Tips for the First Week After a Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Article featured on Orthogate

The first knee replacement surgery took place in 1968 and since that time it has become more common with an estimated 600,000 total knee replacements (TKA’s) occurring annually in the United States. It is one of the most successful operations in all of medicine thanks to advances in the materials and surgical techniques used. These improvements have resulted in shorter hospital stays; however, this means that more responsibility is placed on the patient in managing their own recovery. The toughest period can be the first week after surgery so we thought it helpful to provide the following tips to help you make it through.

Keep the Joint Moving

This is arguably the single most important piece of advice to remember. Maintaining continual, mild movement of the joint is critical for several reasons. First, and this may sound counterintuitive, the movement will help to improve pain. Normally we may think that we need to rest joints and muscles to help relieve pain, but recently repaired joints will actually hurt less with motion. The gentle movement also serves to circulate blood and prevent clots and reduces swelling. Just keep this in mind – “The more you move, the faster your recovery will be.”

Focus on Knee Extension Range of Motion First

Knee extension also called the knee straight, is the most crucial motion that you need to focus on during your post-surgery recovery. After a total knee replacement, your leg will be prone to remain in a bent state and therefore resistant to being straightened out. However, investing the time into knee extension/straightening will be essential to building and maintaining knee stability, decreasing stress on the supportive ligaments around your knee, and to ensure proper functionality of the quad muscle.

Manage Swelling

While some swelling can actually be a good sign during recovery, too much swelling can increase pain and knee stiffness and lead to a decrease in range of motion. Therefore, knowing how to manage your swelling will be of the utmost importance. Just remember the acronym M.I.C.E. – that stands for Movement Ice Compression and Elevation. Your doctor will likely prescribe medications that will help in controlling inflammation so be sure to take them as directed in order to keep your swelling in check. You can also keep swelling at bay by applying ice and pressure (compression bandage) to the knee when you are resting it. Additionally, elevating the knee when you are resting can help temporarily reduce blood flow to the joint and thereby help to decrease swelling.

Get the Muscles Working

Surgery essentially shuts muscles “off” and it is your job during your recovery period to turn them back “on” and get them to working again. Don’t worry so much about building strength, focus instead on continual movement. You should bend, straighten, and squeeze the muscles at least once every waking hour. This will help them gain more function and gradually increase strength.

Don’t Ditch the Walker too Early

Everybody wants to ditch the walker early on because it reminds them of their own mortality. However, we highly encourage you to keep your walker at least until you are no longer limping. If you get rid of the walker before your body is ready, you could very well end up walking with a bent knee that will lead to scar tissue formation, muscle contractures, and damage to other joints nearby. So stick it out with the walker or a cane for a little while longer than you’d like and you’ll be rewarded by having fewer mishaps down the road.

Conclusion

The first week after a total knee replacement can be the toughest time period of the entire recovery process. However, if you implement the strategies we’ve outlined above you will be better equipped to handle whatever challenges you encounter and you will be well on your way to quickly regaining your knee function and quality of life.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday

Partial and Total Knee Replacement: How are they different?

From Noyes Knee Institute

Strong, healthy knees are important for your mobility. Unfortunately, the knee joint is easily injured and is susceptible to damage from arthritis. Any damage or injury to the knee is painful and may limit your daily activities. Depending on which part of your knee is damaged, you may have the option of either a total or partial knee replacement.

Learn more about the difference between partial and total knee replacement to decide which is right for you.

Parts of the Knee

The knee joint consists of four bones: the femur, tibia, fibula, and patella. Four ligaments — two collateral and two cruciate — stabilize the connection of the bones while allowing movement. Menisci, or cartilage, minimizes the trauma of the femur and tibia sliding across each other, and small sacs of fluid between bones allow for smooth movement.

The knee is also divided into three distinct compartments: The medial compartment is the section of knee on the inside of the leg, the lateral compartment is on the outside of the leg, and the patellofemoral compartment is the area directly under the kneecap. A partial knee replacement is done when only one of these compartments is damaged.

Total Knee Replacement

A total knee replacement involves resurfacing the ends of the tibia and femur to remove all the damaged tissue. The damage could be deteriorated bone, cracked bone, or calcified bone as well as the damaged cartilage. Once the bad tissue is removed, metal caps are placed over the bones to recreate their original shape and size. These caps may snap on snugly or be glued in place.

With the bones recreated, the doctor determines whether the kneecap has been damaged or not. If there is damage, the underside will be cleaned, and then a plastic disc will be fit into place. Finally, plastic pacers are placed between all parts that may rub or slide against each other during movement.

Either or both of the cruciate ligaments of the knee may be removed during a total knee replacement if they are damaged. The collateral ligaments are not removed. When a cruciate ligament is taken out, the metal caps over the bones have a ridge or locking mechanism to ensure your bones do not move too far or slip out of place.

Partial Knee Replacement

A partial knee replacement requires the same resurfacing and metal caps but involves either the medial or lateral compartment. If both compartments have damaged tissue, or if the problem is within the patellofemoral compartment, a different treatment is needed.

If your knee is unstable and the bones slip to the side, forward, or backward, partial knee replacement is not an option. In addition, the anterior cruciate ligament must not be damaged for this procedure to work. No ligament is removed during a partial knee replacement.

When only one compartment needs repaired, you may consider a partial knee replacement. If your doctor deems you a good candidate for this procedure you will experience a few benefits over a total knee replacement. One of the most important benefit is that your knee will still function the way it always has because less of the joint is removed and replaced.

With a partial replacement, you may require more surgery and a total replacement in the future. One reason for this is that a partial replacement does not last as long as a total replacement. The other reason is that the remaining natural parts of the joint may become damaged as you age and require replacement too.


The Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center of Oregon is an award-winning, board-certified orthopedic group located in downtown Portland Oregon. We utilize both surgical and nonsurgical means to treat musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders.

Our mission is to return our patients back to pain-free mobility and full strength as quickly and painlessly as possible using both surgical and non-surgical orthopedic procedures.

Our expert physicians provide leading-edge, comprehensive care in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, including total joint replacement and sports medicine. We apply the latest state-of-the-art techniques in order to return our patients to their active lifestyle.

If you’re looking for compassionate, expert orthopedic surgeons in Portland Oregon, contact OSM today.

Phone:
503-224-8399

Address
1515 NW 18th Ave, 3rd Floor
Portland, OR 97209

Hours
Monday–Friday
8:00am – 4:30pm

3 Trends That Are Disrupting the Total Knee Replacement Market in 2020

By Amanda Pedersen | Jan 16, 2020 MDDI (Source)

Big changes lie ahead for knee replacements in 2020 and beyond. MD+DI recently spoke with an expert at DePuy Synthes for insight into how three key trends are impacting the market.

In recent years MD+DI has reported on a number of ways emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), surgical robotics, and 3D-printing are impacting a number of different sectors in medtech. In 2020, we expect these technologies to become even more relevant in the industry, particularly in orthopaedics.
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Answers to Common Questions About Knee Replacement Surgery

Article Featured on WebMD

Who Needs Knee Replacement Surgery?

You and your doctor may consider knee replacement surgery if you have a stiff, painful knee that makes it difficult to perform even the simplest of activities, and other treatments are no longer working. Historically, this surgery has generally been reserved for people over age 50 who have severe osteoarthritis but with advances in technology, adults are more frequently opting for earlier surgeries to optimize their quality of life.

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