The Difference Makers of Knee Replacement Surgery

Posted on 
March 13, 2024

Total knee replacement is the most common joint replacement procedure performed today, with a large majority of patients reporting near or complete relief of their arthritic symptoms after recovering from surgery.

Knee replacement is best described as knee resurfacing, with the end of the femur and the top of the tibia resurfaced with smooth metal and plastic implants. It’s a good option when severe knee arthritis causes daily pain and limitations that non-operative treatments don’t resolve.

While reliable in its effectiveness, there are still a number of factors to consider to ensure the best possible outcome. Below, we look at some difference makers in knee replacement surgery.

Appropriateness

Appropriateness is a leading factor in how effective knee replacement surgery will be. There are many non-operative care options for arthritis patients, and the decision to have knee replacement surgery is most often a “quality of life” choice. Surgery may be appropriate if a patient has tried exercise, medications, physical therapy or bracing and is still experiencing daily pain and limited joint function.

Preparation

While knee replacement surgery may be appropriate for your situation, it can still take a toll on your physical and mental health. For the best possible outcome, preparation for knee replacement surgery should include a prehabilitation or prehab program to help make you stronger going into the procedure.

A prehab program that includes education and strengthening exercises can optimize where you are in your musculoskeletal health and help identify any medical problems that could impact your recovery.

Experience and Volume

It may go without saying, but experience and volume also impact the effectiveness of knee replacement surgery. Evidence suggests that selecting a surgeon who does at least 50 to 100 replacements a year and a hospital that does at least 100 a year improves your chances of an ideal outcome.

Computer-Assisted Knee Replacement

Advancements in surgical techniques and technologies also lead to an increase in patient satisfaction with knee replacement surgery.

Computer-assisted navigation systems allow surgeons to plan surgery on a 3D model of a patient that’s developed from a CT scan. A robotic arm then assists the surgeon in making pre-planned bone cuts that allow for a greater degree of accuracy.

“Because of technology like this, there’s greater awareness of the fact that every knee is slightly different,” says Dr. Joseph Maratt, knee replacement surgeon at Forté. “The solution is to personalize the positioning of implants based on each person’s anatomy.”

Personalized Knee Replacement

A more personalized knee replacement process enhances patient outcomes because it ensures the surgeon removes just the right amount of damaged material during surgery. More of a patient’s soft tissues and bone are preserved, and there is increased accuracy in implant positioning, reducing the risk of complications.

“Personalization ultimately leads to less pain in the post-op period,” says Maratt. “We can’t make a knee replacement painless, but it leads to a more normal feeling knee and a faster recovery.”

Learn More

Wondering what to expect from life after knee replacement surgery? Maratt answers some of the most frequently asked questions and shares some of the benefits of computer-assisted knee replacement surgery.

To learn more about Forte’s joint replacement offerings using the latest techniques and technologies for the best results and fastest recovery, visit forteortho.com or call 317.817.1200.

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