Total Knee Replacement
The total knee replacement procedure replaces or resurfaces all three knee compartments. Your knee is not cut out and something implanted to take its place – rather small sections of your diseased bone is removed and covered with a cap that is either cemented or press fit (in certain instances) into place.
Surgery time is usually under one hour. Postoperative blood transfusion rates are very low due to administration of tranexamic acid (decreases bleeding) during surgery. Postop pain is decreased by the use of a long acting pain medication injected into the incision and surrounding tissue during the surgical procedure. The length of stay in the hospital is usually 2-3 days.
On discharge from the hospital, you may go:
- Home with Home Health nursing and physical therapy
- To the inpatient rehab unit (if you meet criteria)
- Or to a skilled nursing facility if you are unable to have help at home
Usual time to full recovery is three months, although many return to work with restrictions much sooner – depending on the job description.
We typically do not employ “anesthetic blocks” around major nerves for pain management due to the potential damage to and around those nerves.
Usually, you will be full weight bearing with physical therapy the same day or morning after, depending on how late in the day surgery is completed.
At Comanche County Memorial Hospital (CCMH), we do not use doctor owned trial implants or what is referred to in the professional orthopedic world as “tier 2” implants (which are cheaper). Dr. Kirk only uses the major tier 1 type implants.
As a disclaimer, Dr. Kirk does implant “all ceramic coated” total knee prosthesis for patients who have meal allergies, this is not the standard brand that Dr. Kirk implants. However it is available for those who need it.