Knee Replacement Surgery (Arthroplasty)

When you are suffering from severe knee pain due to arthritis and you’ve exhausted all conservative methods of pain management, knee replacement surgery might be your next step.

As an orthopedic surgeon and specialist in hip and knee replacement surgery in Colorado Springs, I understand the anxiety people have when considering surgery for anything.  It is a big decision.  Knee replacement surgery, however, has become one of the most common types of surgery for people with osteoarthritis and has a very high success rate.

While knee replacement surgery is routine for me, I understand that it is something you may only do once in your lifetime.  When you visit my office, the first thing we’ll do is review your history and any tests you’ve had.  If needed, we’ll order tests and x-rays. We’ll ensure that all the conservative options for treating your knee pain have been exhausted prior to exploring surgery.

Once it is clear surgery is the right option, we’ll talk through the process, so you’ll know what to expect. And, most important I will listen to your concerns and make sure to answer all the questions you have.  Our goal is to ensure that you are as comfortable with your decision as possible.

Robotic Knee Replacement

In Colorado Springs, I am one of a few doctors who perform robotic knee replacement surgery (also called Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Total Knee replacement.)  The Mako robotic arm can be used for total knee replacement or partial knee replacement

Robotic knee replacement uses a CT Scan to create a personalized replacement plan based on your unique bone structure. This allows for more accurate bone removal and implant replacement.  This technique reduces the risk of injury to adjacent tissues and creates smaller incisions which can mean a quicker recovery and less pain.

Tourniquet-less Knee Replacement

Because my goal in all surgeries is to ensure the quickest recovery and least pain, I perform knee replacement surgery without a tourniquet.  While using a tourniquet in knee replacement surgery is common practice it has downsides including pain in the thigh after surgery, tissue damage, the risk of bleeding, and the risk of clots forming post-surgery.  In my experience, and backed by a number of studies, including this 2014 study, patients who have tourniquet-less knee replacement surgery have less pain immediately following surgery.  They need fewer pain meds and have a greater knee range of motion in the days immediately following surgery. 

Knee Revision Surgery   

When a person has had total knee replacement surgery that was either not done right or ended in infection of the knee or generated excessive scar tissue, knee revision surgery is required to correct the issues or remove the infection. 

Typically, total knee replacement will last up to 20 years.  After 20 years of use the implants can begin to wear or loosen.  This can cause the patient’s knee to swell, become stiff, unstable and painful.  To correct this revision surgery is performed to replace any mis-fitting or warn parts.

Knee revision surgery is more complex than the original knee replacement surgery. Although you may have had all three parts of the knee replaced originally, knee revision surgery may only be required on some of the parts.  Additionally, bone around the knee may have deteriorated and need to be augmented.

Ensuring the Success of Your Surgery

One of the major complications that can occur following knee surgery is infection.  To ensure the success of your surgery I do everything that has been shown to be effective to minimize the possibility of infection.  Because of this my infection rate is 1/32 of the national average or 1/4 of one percent.  

Find Out If Knee Replacement Surgery is Right for You

To find out if knee replacement surgery is the right next step for you, schedule an appointment with my office today.  Call (719) 632-7669

 

600Thousand
Knee Replacements done in the US each year
90Percent
Patients who see a huge improvement in pain reduction and ability to move
20Years
The average duration you can expect your knee to last

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is the replacement of the damaged parts of your knee with new artificial parts.  In total knee replacement surgery, we remove damaged cartilage from the shin bone and thigh bone.  Then replace the removed cartilage with metal components that create a new surface for the joint.  If needed, the kneecap is resurfaced with a plastic button.  A medical-grade plastic spacer is placed between the metal components to allow for the new parts to glide easily. Partial knee replacement is where only one or two parts are replaced.
Knee replacement surgery is typically performed as inpatient surgery and takes about 1 to 2 hours.  Most patients go home the day after surgery.
You will be back up and walking with the assistance of a walker or crutches immediately following your surgery.  In the first few weeks you will go to rehab to strengthen your knee and get greater range of motion.  By week four you should be walking on your own.  During the first 3 to six months you might still have some swelling, and possibly some mild pain.  Total recovery can take up to one year.  Of course, this depends upon the amount of effort you put into your rehab exercises.
After you recover you will be able to do low impact activities.  These include walking, light hikes, playing doubles tennis, weight training, and swimming, skiing, biking, and kayaking.  You’ll want to avoid high impact activities like running, jogging, basketball or jumping rope as these can loosen or break your implant.
It is the right time for knee replacement surgery if:

  • You’ve tried all conservative possibilities for treatment, and nothing is getting better.
  • Your pain is so severe that it prevents you from doing the daily activities you enjoy most.
  • You have knee pain day and night even while you are resting.
  • You have swelling that doesn’t respond to medication.
  • Your leg is bowed out.
  • Medication doesn’t relieve your pain.
You should be able to kneel although it may be uncomfortable.
Your new knee should last at least 20 years.  Then you might need revision surgery to replace any worn parts.
You can have knee replacement surgery on both knees at once but it will be more difficult and has higher risks.  In general, I don’t recommend it for most people.  The possibility of major complications is higher when both knees are done together.
While knee replacement surgery is the most successful of all surgeries there are still problems that can occur.  These include infection, instability, loosening of the components, continuing pain, and stiffness.
Yes, your new knee will cause the metal detector to go off at the airport.  Be sure to leave extra time when travelling and let the TSA agent know that you have an artificial knee.
What is knee replacement surgery- Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Dr. Tyler Bron

Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group
4110 Briargate Parkway, Suite 300
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Patient Resources Phone: (719) 632-7669
Fax: (719) 632-0088

Dr.Bron@ColoradoHipKneeDoc.com

Insurance Accepted

  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Medicare
  • Most major insurance plans


Contact your insurance company or call our office at (719) 632-7669 to find out if we accept your insurance.