What Are Some Symptoms That Suggest a Complete Knee Replacement Is Needed?


Quick Answer

A complete knee replacement is needed when a knee is very stiff and painful to the degree that it interferes with even simple daily activities and other treatments are ineffective, according to WebMD. This operation is usually only performed for individuals over 50 whose knee problems arise from osteoarthritis.

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What Are Some Symptoms That Suggest a Complete Knee Replacement Is Needed?
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Full Answer

Complete knee replacement means that all the bone that makes up the knee joint is cut out and replaced with a prosthetic made of plastic or metal, WebMD explains. The new parts for the artificial joint are joined to the remaining femur, shin bones and kneecap using cement or other special materials. Usually this requires a large incision across the front of the knee, although techniques have been developed that allow for much smaller incisions. Once replaced, the knee relies on the same muscles and connective tissues for support that the old knee did.

Knee replacement generally results in a dramatic improvement of symptoms, states WebMD. The hospital stay after surgery is usually between three and five days. Standing and walking is usually possible the day after surgery, but walking often requires devices to assist such as a walker or crutches. Physical therapy is usually prescribed and is very helpful in regaining full function from the new knee.

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