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Knee Replacement

The knee is a vulnerable joint that bears a great deal of stress every day. Many people experience knee problems as a result of:         

  • Aging
  • Continual wear and stress on the knee joint
  • Arthritis

If severe knee pain limits your everyday activities, consider a knee replacement surgery with an experienced surgeon at Dignity Health in Greater Sacramento.

Am I candidate for knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery may be right for you if you suffer from any of the following:

  • Severe knee pain limits your everyday activities
  • You are bow-legged or knock-kneed
  • You experience moderate or severe knee pain while resting
  • Your knee swells and does not improve with rest or medication
  • Your knee bows outward
  • You cannot bend or straighten your knee

What happens during knee replacement surgery?

Knee replacement surgery involves removing or resurfacing parts of your thigh bone, shin bone or kneecap, and replacing it with a prosthetic. This prosthetic is a metal and plastic covering used to replace cartilage that has worn away over the years.

All components of a knee replacement procedure are cemented into place. The cement sets in about 10 minutes, allowing you to use the joint immediately after surgery.

What are the risks of knee replacement?

The risk of complications after knee replacement surgery is low, with the most common complication being blood clots. To prevent these, your surgeon may prescribe one or more methods, such as special support hose, inflatable leg coverings or blood thinners. You may also receive antibiotics to help prevent infection.

What are my options for pain management during knee replacement?

Before, during and after knee surgery, surgeons at Dignity Health's Sacramento hospitals take a multi-modal approach to managing your pain. Our goal is to keep you as pain-free as possible. Not only will you be more comfortable, but optimal pain control is also important to speed your recovery and ensure participation in necessary therapies.

What can I expect after knee replacement surgery?

After knee replacement surgery, complete recovery will take three to six months. Here's what else you can expect:

  • After surgery, you will spend approximately two nights in the hospital.
  • Walking and knee movement are important should begin the day of surgery to prevent swelling and blood clots from forming in your legs, which can occur from lack of activity.
  • Your surgeon will prescribe you home-care instructions and an exercise program. It is essential to follow these plans to ensure a safe and thorough recovery.
  • You will most likely need crutches or a walker for three to six weeks, and a cane for the following three to six weeks.
  • Some discomfort with activity and at nighttime is common.
  • Most people resume light activities, such as driving, within three to six weeks after surgery. While many patients gradually increase activities such as recreational walking and biking, swimming, golf and ballroom dancing, it is advised you avoid active sports such as jogging, tennis, high-impact aerobics, skiing, repetitive lifting exceeding 50 pounds and contact sports.

Take the Next Step

If you think orthopedic surgery may be the solution for your pain, call Dignity Health in Sacramento at (916) 851-2511 to request a consultation today or request an appointment online.