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Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine of San Antonio

About Joint Replacement

Your Knee Joint

Femur – thigh bone
Cartilage – tissue between bones that provides cushioning
Patella – knee cap
Tibia – shin bone
Synovium – tissue that provides lubricating fluid to joint
Ligament – flexible tissue that holds knee joint together

What Causes Knee Joint Pain?
One of the most common causes of joint pain is arthritis. The most common types of arthritis are:

  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
  • Post-traumatic Arthritis

Knee Surgery
May be suitable for patients who:

  • Have a painful, disabling joint disease of the knee resulting from a severe form of arthritis
  • Are not likely to achieve satisfactory results from less invasive procedures, medication, physical therapy, or joint fluid supplements
  • Have bone stock that is of poor quality or inadequate for other reconstructive techniques

Total Knee Joint Replacement

  • End surface of femur replaced with metal
  • End surface of tibia replaced with metal
  • Plastic liner is inserted between femur and tibia to reduce wear
  • Patella is resurfaced with plastic

Every individual is different and every treatment plan is different. The length of hospital stay after joint replacement varies and depends on many factors including age and physical ability.

Estimated Recovery Schedule

  • In-hospital Recovery: 2 – 5 days
  • Significant Functional Improvement: 6 weeks – 3 months
  • Maximal Improvement: 6 – 12 months

Recovery — Rehabilitation
Following joint replacement the physical therapist begins an exercise program to be performed in bed and in the therapy department. The physical therapist or another member of the staff works with the patient to help the patient:

  • Regain muscle strength
  • Increase range of motion

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