Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee Replacement Surgery Idaho

Knee Replacement Surgery IdahoThe knee is the largest joint in the body. Normal knee function is required to perform most everyday activities. If medications, changing your activity level, and using walking supports are no longer helpful, you may want to consider total knee replacement surgery or a knee resurfacing procedure.

If medications and/or using walking supports are no longer helpful, it may be time to consider total knee replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery is proven to be safe and effective in relieving pain, correcting leg deformity, and helping you resume normal, everyday activities.

Whether you have just begun exploring treatment options or have already decided to have total knee replacement surgery, we here at West Idaho Orthopedic & Sports Medicine, serving Boise and the surrounding areas, hope this information will help you understand more about this valuable procedure and help you make the best decision for you.

Anatomy

The knee is the largest joint in the body and it goes without saying that having healthy knees is imperative in order to perform almost all of our day-to-day activities.

The knee joint is comprised of the lower end of the thighbone (femur), the upper end of the shinbone (tibia), and the kneecap (patella). Each of these areas and  where they touch are covered with cartilage that protects the bones and enables them to move easily.

The menisci are located between the femur and tibia. These C-shaped wedges act as “shock absorbers” that cushion the joint.

All remaining surfaces of the knee are covered by a thin lining called the synovial membrane, which releases a fluid that lubricates the cartilage. When the cartilage is well lubricated, friction is reduced to nearly zero.

Typically, all of these components work in harmony. Unfortunately, disease and injury may disrupt this harmony, resulting in pain, muscle weakness, and reduced function.

Common Causes of Knee Pain

Arthritis is the most common cause of knee pain and disability. Despite the fact that there are many types of arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis are the most common causes of knee pain.

  • Osteoarthritis, commonly referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis, is a common, age-related form of arthritis.  Typically occurring in people 50 years of age and older, osteoarthritis may also occur in younger people. As cartilage that cushions the bones of the knee softens and wears away,  the bones rub against one another, causing knee pain and stiffness.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease characterized by thickening and inflammation of the synovial membrane that surrounds the joint. This chronic inflammation can damage the cartilage and eventually result in a loss of  cartilage,  moderate to severe pain, and joint stiffness.
  • Post-traumatic arthritis follows a serious knee injury. If one or more of the bones surrounding the knee, along with tears of the knee ligaments, can damage the cartilage over time, causing knee pain and limiting knee function.

When Surgery Is Recommended?

Doctors may recommend knee replacement surgery for many different reasons. People who benefit from total knee replacement often exhibit these symptoms:

  • Severe, chronic knee pain or stiffness that prohibits you from participating in everyday activities, like walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of a chair. It may be difficult to walk more than a few blocks without significant pain, forcing you to use a cane or walker.
  • Moderate or severe knee pain while resting
  • Swelling and chronic knee inflammation that fails improve with rest or medications
  • A bowing in or out of your knee, otherwise known as a knee deformity
  • A lack of significant improvement with other treatments like anti-inflammatory medications, lubricating injections, cortisone injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries

Listen to Dr. Nicola explain his modern approach to knee replacement for quick recovery.

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