Do you need a knee replacement?

Chronic knee pain has many causes, including sprains, ligament or meniscal tears, or tendonitis. Most of these conditions respond to ice, medication, physical therapy or minor surgery. But when it comes to the most common cause of knee pain––arthritis––non-surgical treatments often fail to provide complete relief. The orthopedic surgeons at Phelps will get to the bottom of your knee pain and help you find the treatment plan that is right for you.

More than 650,000 people have total knee replacement surgery each year. Talk to your doctor about whether this could be the right option for you.

What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis can develop when the bones of your knee and leg do not line up properly. This misalignment can put extra stress on either the inner (medial) or outer (lateral) side of your knee. Over time, this extra pressure can wear away the smooth articular cartilage that protects the bones, causing pain and stiffness in your knee.

If your chronic knee pain makes it difficult to bear your own weight, go up and down stairs, bend or straighten your knee, or walk past a certain distance, then ask your doctor if you qualify for knee replacement surgery.

If you have ever had cortisone or a lubricating fluid injected into your knee, think you are becoming bowlegged or knock-kneed, or have had knee pain for three months or longer, you may want to consult one of our orthopedic surgeons.

Get back on your feet more quickly

Minimally invasive surgical techniques mean you can be up and moving around more quickly after knee surgery.

Hear from patients
Our surgeons are experts in many surgical techniques and will tailor their approach to your specific needs

Osteotomy of the Knee

Osteotomy literally means “cutting of the bone.” In a knee osteotomy, either the tibia (shinbone) or femur (thighbone) is cut and then reshaped to relieve pressure on the knee joint. If you have early-stage osteoarthritis that has damaged just one side of your knee joint, then you might benefit from a knee osteotomy. By shifting the weight-bearing part of your knee from degenerative or worn tissue onto healthier tissue, an osteotomy can relieve pain and significantly improve function in your arthritic knee.

Osteotomy diagram Source: OrthoInfo from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/osteotomy-of-the-knee.

High Tibial Osteotomy

In a high tibial osteotomy, a triangular wedge of bone is cut at the upper end of the tibia and either removed or filled with bone graft depending on your needs. If you are younger than 55 and still have mobility in your knee, your surgeon may recommend this procedure to postpone total knee replacement. The benefits of a high tibial osteotomy typically fade after eight to ten years, however, at which point you may need a full knee replacement. Your surgeon may also recommend an osteotomy in conjunction with other joint preservation procedures to allow for cartilage repair tissue to grow without being subjected to excessive pressure.

Partial Knee Replacement

Sometimes arthritis affects just one part of the knee. In such cases, only the damaged part of the knee may need replacing. A partial knee replacement keeps healthy bone and cartilage intact. Because it entails a smaller incision than a total knee replacement does, the procedure causes less blood loss during surgery and promises a faster recovery.

Total Knee Replacement

During a total knee replacement, your surgeon will replace damaged bone and cartilage with a metal and plastic knee implant, appropriately sized to fit your knee. A total knee replacement can significantly increase your knee’s function and mobility.

Patient Specific Instrumentation (PSI)

Phelps’ orthopedic surgeons use innovative 3D printing and MRI imaging for the most accurate sizing and implantation of knee replacements. Our 3D printer will customize your replacement, while our 3D MRI machines will position your new knee with maximal precision.

The Phelps orthopedics team performs every knee replacement surgery with state-of-the-art technology and procedures.

Meet our knee replacement specialists

The orthopedic surgeons specializing in knee replacement surgery at Phelps Hospital use the latest techniques and technology, including minimally invasive procedures, to bring you the best outcomes and care.

woman exercising on an underwater treadmill in a pool
You’ll have a full team to support you during recovery

Once you have your new knee, you will need to modify your daily routine. Our occupational therapists will help you adapt your activities, and you’ll learn to safely use a cane or other assistive device with instruction from our physical therapists. You may begin your physical rehabilitation in our state-of-the-art aquatic therapy pool before returning to land-based exercise. Your surgeon will tell you how much weight your new knee can bear, and will likely advise you to put as much weight on it as you can safely tolerate.