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What to Know About Knee Replacements

If you have arthritis or an injury that’s caused long-term damage in your knee, your life may be severely impacted. You may have difficulty doing everyday tasks like walking or standing up. Knee replacement surgery can help you regain your life. Here’s what you need to know about the procedure.

Types of Knee Replacements

Knee replacements are either partial or total. In a partial knee replacement, your surgeon only removes and replaces the damaged or arthritic part of the knee. There is less blood and bone loss, and the recovery time is usually faster than a total knee replacement. In a total knee replacement, the surgeon removes all of the bone and cartilage between the lower thigh bone and the upper shin bone. The surgeon places an artificial join in its place.

Knee Replacement Recovery Time

The recovery time for a knee replacement surgery is a year-long process, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be in pain or still the entire time. The first part of recovery is in the first six weeks when you’re focusing on healing from the operation, reducing pain and inflammation. In the next three to five months, you work on regaining strength, range of motion and getting back into your normal activities. The last six months of recovery focuses on getting all of your mobility back. During this time, you’ll likely receive physical therapy as well as prescribed exercises to help you reach your goals. Knee surgery recovery times vary with each patient.

Managing Pain After Knee Surgery

One of the most common questions asked regarding knee replacement surgery is “is knee surgery painful?” The level of pain that the patient experiences varies depending on the patient. The surgery itself is performed under anesthesia. Your doctor will likely prescribe opioid pain medication immediately following surgery to manage pain. Your doctor will encourage you to switch to non-narcotic pain medication as soon as possible, but the timeline greatly depends on how well you’re managing pain.

Is Knee Replacement Successful?

In 90 percent of patients who undergo knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic drop in pain, reports Healthline. Damage caused by osteoarthritis can be completely debilitating, and knee replacement is effective in reducing pain and giving patients their mobility back. Most patients will know that their surgery was a success within the first two to three months of the recovery period. Utilizing the latest knee surgery techniques also helps reduce complications and decrease the chances of failure.

Cost of Knee Replacement

The cost of a knee replacement is dependent on the number of days you have to stay in the hospital, the type of implant and surgical approach, your pre-existing conditions and any problems after knee surgery. Insurance typically covers a portion of surgery and rehabilitation. How much you have to pay out-of-pocket depends on the type of insurance and coverage you have. Without insurance, replacement knee surgery cost is about $50,000.


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