Total Knee Replacement
Arthritis can cause severe damage to the knee joint, affecting even simple, everyday tasks like walking, bending, or climbing stairs. Nonsurgical treatments like medication and physical therapy are available to help with arthritis symptoms, but these treatments may not provide sufficient pain relief for patients in the advanced stages of arthritis. For these patients, total knee replacement may help to alleviate pain and restore movement.
Over the 20 years Dr. Brett Casey has been in practice, total knee replacement has become one of his primary specialties. Dr. Casey completed his residency at Scott & White Memorial Hospital in Texas, a facility known for performing a high volume of joint replacement surgeries. This allowed Dr. Casey to gain a great deal of experience in total knee replacement before entering private practice. He has continued to hone those skills over his years in practice, keeping current on the latest advances in technology to provide the best outcomes for his patients.
Candidates for Total Knee Replacement
Knee replacement is typically recommended for patients with severe knee pain caused by arthritis. Generally, these patients have already tried nonsurgical treatments like medications, injections, and physical therapy and have had little to no pain relief.
Knee pain and stiffness can make even simple activities like walking and climbing stairs difficult, which can severely affect a patient’s mobility and quality of life. In some cases, pain may even be present while at rest.
Another important factor in considering total knee replacement is the patient’s ability to commit to post-operative physical therapy. Physical therapy is an important component in the success of any joint replacement surgery, but it is especially important after total knee replacement. Physical therapy helps patients with strengthening, walking, and range of motion after a total knee replacement. If a patient does not follow physical therapy protocols, the end result may not be satisfactory, even in the hands of a very skilled surgeon like Dr. Casey.
Total Knee Replacement Procedure
Advances in orthopedic surgery have led to minimally invasive knee replacement procedures. Dr. Casey uses the minimally invasive approach for total knee replacement whenever possible because it often leads to an easier recovery for the patient.
As with a traditional total knee replacement, the goal is to relieve knee pain and improve mobility by replacing the damaged knee joint with prosthetic components. However, traditional knee replacement requires a much larger incision, and the quadriceps tendon and the muscles at the front of the thigh often need to be cut to complete the procedure. Minimally invasive knee replacements are done with much smaller incisions and often avoid or minimize trauma to the muscle. This technique can reduce pain in the recovery period, which may make it easier for patients to participate in physical therapy.
The implants used in minimally invasive knee replacements are the same as the implants used in traditional knee replacement. They are typically made of metal, with a plastic spacer inserted between the metal components to allow the joint to glide smoothly.<
Recovering from Total Knee Replacement
After total knee replacement, most patients will need to stay in the hospital overnight. The vast majority of patients are able to return home the following day.
Since total knee replacement is a major surgery, there will be some pain in recovery. Medications can help to manage pain so that patients are able to begin moving the knee soon after surgery. Even with pain in the recovery period, most patients are ultimately happy they had a knee replacement because it improves their mobility and daily life.
Patients typically begin walking the day of surgery, before they are discharged from the hospital. As previously stated, physical therapy is critical to achieving a great result after a knee replacement. Dr. Casey’s practice, Gulf Coast Orthopedics, offers convenient onsite physical therapy to patients. However, patients may work with any physical therapist that meets their needs. With physical therapy, patients gradually increase mobility and activity so that they are able to resume their normal daily activities.
Full recovery from total knee replacement typically takes about 12 weeks.
Total Knee Replacement in Houma, LA
With over 20 years in practice, Dr. Casey has done numerous total knee replacements throughout the course of his career. Always seeking to improve outcomes for his patients, he stays up to date on the latest advances in knee replacement surgery, offering minimally invasive options whenever possible. If you would like to schedule an evaluation for knee replacement surgery with Dr. Casey, please call our office at 985-262-3906 or use our online appointment request form.