If your knee joint is worn down by arthritis or an injury and you’re considering knee replacement surgery, it’s helpful to understand what to expect during and after your procedure.
As a skilled orthopedic surgeon, Carols A. Uquillas, MD, specializes in minimally invasive knee replacement surgeries to relieve chronic knee pain and correct joint deformities. Dr. Uquillas provides some insight into what’s involved in replacement surgery and what it’s like to recover.
Goals for knee replacement surgery
A knee replacement surgery focuses on replacing part or all of your knee joint with an artificial device. This device works just like your natural joint and is made of high-quality, medically safe materials.
Knee replacement surgery is generally a last-resort treatment option for relieving chronic knee pain and limited mobility that results from osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis causes the breakdown of the protective cartilage that lines the ends of the bones that makes up your joint.
Without this cartilage, your bones can rub together and create friction which irritates surrounding tissue and causes stiffness and pain. If you have advanced osteoarthritis, it can also lead to deformities in your knee joint that cause disability.
The minimally invasive knee replacement procedure
Prior to your surgery, Dr. Uquillas meets with you to ensure you’re healthy enough for surgery and anesthesia. He provides information to get you ready for your surgery day, such as instructions for limiting food and drink and preparing your home for your recovery.
During your surgery, Dr. Uquillas uses minimally invasive surgical techniques that require only small incisions to access your knee joint. He removes part or all of the damaged joint structures with specialized surgical tools that fit through the small incisions.
Dr. Uquillas is able to operate with a high level of precision by using a special scope with an attached camera that sends images of your inner knee structures to an external monitor. When the damaged tissue is gone, he positions the artificial joint in place and ensures it functions properly by rotating and bending your knee before closing the incisions.
Starting your recovery process
Following your knee replacement surgery, you can expect to need time to recover from anesthesia before you move to your hospital room to rest. Dr. Uquillas works with you on a pain management plan to keep you comfortable and control inflammation post-surgery.
Soon after your surgery, you can expect to gently move your ankle and foot to improve your blood circulation and reduce your risk for clots. Over time, your activity level will increase, and you’ll begin working with a physical therapist before you leave the hospital.
Physical therapy continues while you recover at home to restore your knee joint function. You also will need to limit your activities, including work, for a period of time while you heal.
Getting back to life after knee replacement surgery
Since everyone heals differently, Dr. Uquillas can determine when it’s safe for you to resume most of your usual activities by monitoring your overall healing process. Many people return to light activities within six weeks.
As you continue to heal, you should experience a significant reduction in your pain. Physical therapy progressively improves your joint mobility and makes it easier for you to get back to physical activities and enjoy a high quality of life.
If you’re tired of living with chronic knee pain, find out if you’re a candidate for knee replacement surgery by calling the office of Carlos Uquillas, MD nearest you, or by requesting an appointment using the online booking feature.