Knee Replacement - Medical Malpractice LawyersLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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Knee Replacement - Medical Malpractice
Knee replacements follow a bout with severe knee arthritis or a knee injury which can't otherwise be repaired. You often have pain climbing or going down stairs; you can have pain walking on flat surfaces or bending the knee. By the time you need knee replacement, you can even have pain at rest without moving your knee at all. When medications and changes in your level of activity don't help, you need to consider having total knee replacement surgery.
Knee replacements began in 1968 and currently more than five hundred thousand surgeries are done each year in the US. The knee is the largest joint in the body and it takes a great deal of the weight of the body on its surfaces. The knee is made up of the patella, the femur on its superior surface and the tibia and fibula on its inferior surface. There is normally cartilage cushioning the joint surface on all sides. There is a synovial membrane that cushions and lubricates the knee. Normally, all parts of the knee work in tandem with one another but sometimes injury makes it so that the knee doesn't work properly.
The most common injury leading to total knee replacement is chronic knee arthritis. This can be due to trauma, rheumatic disease and osteoarthritis. It usually occurs in those older than 50 years of age and in those with a family history of arthritis of the knee.
The decision to have knee replacement should be made by you, your family and your doctor. You should see an orthopedic physician who will take x-rays and may be able to do an arthroscopy to check for the possibility that internal surgery can be done that doesn't involve total knee replacement. If not, then total knee replacement may be warranted.
A total knee replacement can improve your daily activities so that you can walk normally again and climb stairs without difficulty. If you have moderate to severe pain at rest, you may be a good candidate for total knee replacement. If the knee is stiff or cannot straighten, it may be time for total knee replacement surgery. If you cannot obtain relief from the usual pain medications for arthritis, it may be another sign you need total knee replacement. Cortisone injections may be try and may fail before the decision is made to have total knee replacement surgery.
The decision to have the surgery depends on a total history and physical examination by the orthopedist. X-rays are obtained and sometimes an MRI exam is performed to see the internal structures of the knee. Sometimes blood tests for rheumatoid arthritis are performed.
More than ninety percent of all people who undergo a total knee replacement experience a dramatic change in their pain so that they are happy with your procedure. Some people have residual pain and disability. There are some activities, such as high impact sports, jogging and other activities will be off your list for the rest of your life. Excessive wear and tear on a replaced knee could result in another knee replacement having to be undertaken.
You will likely be admitted to the hospital on the day of the surgery and will be evaluated by anaesthesia. They will tell you whether or not you will be having general anaesthesia. Some people have spinal anaesthesia and are awake during the surgery. The surgery takes about two hours and involves the surgeon removing the two damaged surfaces of the joint and replacing it with an artificial joint surface that acts like a hinge, similar to the way a regular knee does. The new parts of the knee are cemented onto the pre-existing bones that have had their joint removed. Recovery takes several weeks and involves physical therapy practically every day.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here