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What is the procedure for a total knee joint replacement?

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Quick Answer

To perform a total knee replacement, the surgeon cuts the ends from the thigh and shin bones to fit the replacement parts, attaches the prosthesis to the bones, and cements the knee cap to the prosthesis, according to WebMD. The surgery is done under anesthesia and takes about two hours.

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Full Answer

When arthritis injures the knee joint, normal activities such as walking and climbing stairs become painful, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Eventually, the disease causes pain even when the patient is just sitting. Once other types of treatments are no longer able to control the pain, the patient can consider total knee replacement.

The day after knee replacement surgery, a patient typically begins an exercise program to regain strength in the leg, according to Mayo Clinic. He gradually begins walking again. As the knee gains strength, the walking program moves from inside to outside locations, and the patient resumes activities, including climbing stairs.

Total knee replacement surgery brings a significant improvement in pain levels for most patients, reports Mayo Clinic. Within four to six weeks, the patient is able to resume normal household duties. Patients who are able to operate the brake and accelerator on their car begin driving again at about four weeks post-op. After recovery, patients may participate in low-impact sports, although they may have limitations that prevent them from high-impact activities.

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