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August 20, 2018  
EDUCATION CENTER: Procedures
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  • Arthroplasty

    Description:

    Specialist Orthopedic surgeon

    Procedure
    Before the procedure: Diagnostic x-rays, aspiration of joint (to check for infection), blood tests to assess health, urine tests to be sure no infection exists; all appropriate dental work completed.
    During the procedure: The easiest way to understand knee replacement is to compare it to capping a tooth. A saw is used to remove the damaged cartilage and a small amount of bone. The ends of the bones are then “capped” with metal alloy. A plastic liner is placed between them to allow a smooth gliding surface. The underside of the kneecap is also replaced with a plastic liner to allow smooth motion. In order to keep the metal in place, medical-quality cement, which works like grout, is applied between the metal and the bone. Arthroplasty is also done on the shoulder and other joints.
    After the procedure: Physical therapy.

    Recovery
    Hospitalization: 4 to 7 days At home: 6-8 weeks

    • While resting in bed, reduce the likelihood of clots by wearing compression stockings and moving frequently. Some surgeons will use a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin to lessen the risk of blood clots.
    • Use crutches or a cane to walk until your doctor says otherwise.
    • Stay within your safe range of motion.
    • Bathe and shower as directed.
    • Avoid strenuous activities.
    Complications/Risks
    • Excessive bleeding
    • Blood clots
    • Nerve or blood vessel injury during surgery
    • Infection
    • Need for blood transfusion
    Medications
    • Acetaminophen
    • Prescription pain relievers
    Follow up with your doctor if: Pain, swelling, redness, drainage or bleeding increases in the knee or there are symptoms suggesting infection such as fever.



    Related Conditions:
  • Osteoarthritis

    Last updated: 17-May-07

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