Knee replacement surgery was first pioneered in the mid 1950s, and has since become a key treatment option for patients suffering from osteoarthritis, knee joint or bone trauma, and other issues relating to the health of the knee.
Knee replacement surgery typically has two main goals: to relieve the pain that patients may be feeling in the knee joint, which can in many cases be debilitating, and to restore mobility and a greater range of motion to the knee joint. Though many of those who require knee replacement surgery are elderly, the procedure may be employed to help anyone who suffers from serious knee problems, including young children.
The Surgical Process
The procedure for knee replacement surgery involves removing cartilage and the anterior cruciate ligament from the knee and placing metal components over the distal end of the femur and the proximal end of the tibia, with a polyethylene surface added to the tibial component so that the movement of the repaired knee does not require metal-on-metal interaction to occur. By replacing the joint in this way, patients can be relieved of significant pain while recovering the mobility that they may have lost because of the damage to their knees.
Knee replacement surgeries can be total or partial. Because the knee is comprised of three compartments (medial, lateral, patellofemorral), a minority of patients may be able to undergo successful knee replacement which only impacts one of these compartments, with the medial compartment being the most common target for replacement. While there can be substantial benefits for those who undergo partial knee replacement in contrast to total knee replacement, benefits which can include easier rehabilitation and reduced risk of infection or blood clotting, the possibility of further repairs being required can make some medical professionals hesitant to choose this type of procedure over total knee replacement surgery.
Rehabilitation and Life after Knee Replacement Surgery
Rehabilitation following a total knee replacement surgery can be a lengthy and, at times, significantly painful process. Many patients require post-operative hospitalization of several days before they can be released, and the use of walking aids such as crutches or weight-bearing walkers is typically required. Rehabilitative physical therapy, often lasting six weeks or longer, is necessary in order to fully restore the use of the knee that was replaced.
The risks faced by most of those who have undergone knee replacement surgery are limited: in only a small minority of cases do patients experience any serious side effects. Indeed, as many as 90% of patients report being completely free of pain following the procedure. Furthermore, the replacement’s failure rate after five years is only 2%, indicating how successful most knee replacement surgeries now are.
The costs of knee replacement surgery can, unfortunately, be incredibly expensive. At Hach & Rose, LLP, we understand how hard it can be for many to find ways to afford these costs. That’s why we work tirelessly on behalf of injury victims whose damages were caused by the recklessness or negligence of others to fight for compensation. Contact us today at (212) 779-0057 to learn more about how the New York personal injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP may be able to help you.