American adults undergo approximately 600,000 total knee replacements every year. This surgery involves the removal of all or part of your knee joint (cartilage and bone) and the replacement of it with prosthetic parts made of metals and plastic resins. This highly successful procedure restores arthritic or otherwise compromised knee joints, giving people pain-free, fluid movement.
Considering knee arthroplasty? Here’s what you need to know about the evaluation process, procedure, and recovery.
Osteoarthritis in the Knee
The most common reason why people need knee replacement surgery is wear-and-tear arthritis. Mostly affecting individuals over 50 years of age, osteoarthritis (OA) occurs when cartilage within the various knee compartments deteriorates, causing symptoms such as:
- Pain with movement or even at rest
- Stiffness and limited range of motion
- Grating sensations and sounds in the affected knee
- Bone spurs (revealed upon X-ray imaging)
- Swelling, tenderness, and warmth in the joint
When osteoarthritis first begins, only one of the three knee joint compartments may be symptomatic. However, over time, all three areas–lateral, medial, and patellofemoral–may be involved. Your orthopedic surgeon in Fort Lauderdale will examine and image your knee to determine the exact details of your case and the best treatment path.
Many people do well with physical therapy, pain medications, cortisone injections, assistive devices (canes and bracing are examples), and minimally invasive therapies. However, as arthritis progresses, surgery may be the only workable option to restore joint function.
Partial Versus Total Knee Replacement
Your orthopedic surgeon will tell you if you need a partial or a total knee replacement, depending on the type, severity, and location of your joint damage. Whatever the case, you can receive one of today’s most innovative surgical interventions through knee replacement.
In South Florida, experienced orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul Meli performs minimally-invasive partial knee replacement for qualified patients. This procedure involves:
- Smaller incisions
- Less cutting and bleeding
- Same-day discharge from the hospital in many cases
- Pain medications
- A detailed physical therapy plan
Other patients undergo total knee replacement, a more involved surgical procedure featuring:
- A larger incision
- Full-width knee prosthesis
- Two to three days of hospitalization
- Compression stockings to prevent blood clots
- Many weeks of rehabilitation, including physical therapy
Experts at the Cleveland Clinic state that most knee replacement parts last about 15 years. Overall, patients express satisfaction with their new knees. They enjoy mobility and improved independence in accomplishing their daily tasks, working, and playing sports.
Knee Replacement Surgeons in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Dr. Meli is the premier knee replacement surgeon in South Florida. He is board-certified and also a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. Because he has 30 years of experience in his field and has performed countless joint arthroplasties, you can expect superior results from your surgery.
Call his office team today to learn more about this life-changing procedure: (954) 324-7711, or request an appointment online. Let us help you have a better quality of life through modern orthopedics!