Dr. Lonnie Paulos is one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in this country. With over 30 years of experience, he stands at the forefront of surgical knee replacement. There are many conditions that can deteriorate a knee to the point of replacement. Some of these include arthritic and inflammatory conditions, degenerative problems, failed joint surgery, trauma, infected joints, and avascular necrosis (blood-flow problem) of the knee joints.
Regardless of the cause of the damage to the joint, increasing pain and stiffness and decreasing daily function may lead you to consider total knee replacement. Decisions regarding whether or when to undergo knee replacement surgery are not easy, and Dr. Paulos advises you of the risks as well as the benefits to assist in your decision. The primary goal of knee replacement surgery is to reduce knee pain while improving function, and also reducing a noticeable limp.
Effective joint reconstruction requires a combination of surgical expertise along with a sports specialist to optimize for the best treatment and recovery. Dr. Paulos continues to forge ahead in research and patient care for progressive treatment solutions and new technologies for joint reconstruction, including application and development of resurfacing arthroplasties to one or more compartments of the knee, corrective osteotomies, and prosthetic knee joint replacements.
The knee is a hinge joint which provides motion at the point where the thigh meets the lower leg. The thighbone (or femur) abuts the large bone of the lower leg (tibia) at the knee joint. During a total knee replacement, the end of the femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The end of the lower leg bone (tibia) is also removed and replaced with a channeled plastic piece with a metal stem. Depending on the condition of the kneecap portion of the knee joint, a plastic "button" may also be added under the kneecap surface.
The posterior cruciate ligament is a tissue that normally stabilizes each side of the knee joint so that the lower leg cannot slide backward in relation to the thighbone. In total knee replacement surgery, this ligament is retained, sacrificed, or substituted by a polyethylene post. Each of these various designs of total knee replacement has its benefits and risks.
Rehabilitation will begin soon after surgery. You will begin a physical therapy regiment with short distances of walking and an early exercise program. You will continue with a home exercise program focused on motion and strength of the knee. Your motivation and willingness to participate in the rehabilitation program are critical in determining final strength, range of motion of the knee, and walking patterns.
If you would like to discuss your knee pain with Dr. Paulos, please call our office today so we can make an appointment for an examination.