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What Happens During a Knee Replacement?

In an ideal world, all of our bones, muscles, ligaments, and tissues would stay supple and working well forever. However, humans aren’t perfect and our bones are subject to everyday wear and tear. One of the most vulnerable places in the human body are the knees. This is because the knees are responsible for bending, twisting, turning, and taking all the pressure of every step.

Whether for reasons of the aging process, sports injury, or genetic issues, knees sometimes need a helping hand in their lifetime. Knee replacement surgery can be done reliably and without issues in the Fox Valley area. There are many professionals who specialize in this line of work.

Find out more about what happens during knee replacement surgery and how this can make a positive difference in an individual’s life.

Who needs this surgery?

When issues present in the knees, there are many different courses of action to be taken. Sometimes, physiotherapy and muscular development can be part of the solution. Other times, a surgical approach is needed.

Some causes for surgery include:

  • Arthritis in the knees
  • A disease in the bone
  • A break or a fracture
  • A ligament tear
  • Severe damage from sport

What are the steps of the surgery?

While not the most complicated surgery, a knee replacement is still a serious undertaking and needs to be treated attentively. There are many steps that the surgeon will take during this surgery. These include:

  • An incision happens across the skin to access the patella
  • The patella is rotated and the femur is prepared
  • The metal femoral component is implanted
  • The tibia is prepared to have the metal femoral component attached
  • The patella is readjusted
  • The surgeon bends and flexes the leg to make sure the joint is working properly

What happens during the recovery?

Obviously, after any major surgery, there is a considerable healing and recovery period. This is certainly true for any surgery to the knees. The standard time of recovery for this type of surgery is around 6 weeks, but that can vary depending on the individual. In order to ensure a full recovery, consider the following points and measures.

  • Pay close attention to physio exercises and stretches or movements designed to strengthen the knees
  • Only take the recommended painkillers given by the doctor and no more
  • Take time and patience when getting used to walking with the cane or crutches provided
  • Go slowly with exercises and movements, but be sure to bend the knee regularly and gently to help the muscles heal and strengthen
  • Use a cold compress when the swelling feels too painful and be sure to elevate the leg

Fox Valley residents from Green Bay to Oshkosh having knee replacement surgery should work closely with their doctors during the diagnosis and after surgery, to help with recovery and strengthening of the knee.

If you would like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI), please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online. OSI is Northeast Wisconsin’s exclusive provider of Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery for Hips & Knees.

OSI has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.

The Appleton location also has a walkin clinic that provides care for new orthopedic injuries.

For post-surgical recovery and rehabilitation, Recovery Inn is located on the OSI Appleton campus. Recovery Inn – the first orthopedics-only recovery facility in the nation attached to a surgery center – feels more like a hotel than a medical facility. At OSI, you can have your surgery and recover without leaving the building. Physical and occupational therapy take place steps from your room, where you will be rehabbing with the nationally recognized therapists from Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine.

For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact Recovery Inn Executive Director Shaena Van Handel at (920) 560-1066.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.