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What is Outpatient Total Knee Replacement?

Total knee replacement is the surgical treatment for knee arthritis, where the damaged knee is removed and replaced with an artificial knee implant. Traditionally, the surgery required the patient to stay in the hospital for one to several days. With advanced techniques, it is now possible to perform these surgeries on an outpatient basis where the patient is up and walking a few hours after surgery and goes home on the same day. Modern anesthesia techniques and rapid rehab protocols have allowed for transition to outpatient knee replacement surgery in medical optimized patients.

Total Knee Replacement Procedure

The goal of total knee replacement surgery is to relieve pain and restore the alignment and function of your knee.

  • The surgery is performed under spinal or general anesthesia. An incision is made over the front of the knee to expose the knee joint. Then, the damaged portions of the femur and tibia bones are cut using specialized jigs to verify alignment of the knee.
  • The knee cap (patella) is shaved flat on the back and a plastic button is placed on the back held and secured with bone cement
  • The knee replacement implants are secured to the bone
  • Lastly a plastic insert is placed between the femoral and tibial components and on the back of the patella a plastic component is cemented into place
  • With all the new components in place, the knee joint is tested through its range of motion. The entire joint is then irrigated and cleaned with a sterile solution. The incision is carefully closed; a sterile dressing is placed over the incision.

Postoperative Care and Instructions

  • Incision and dressing care
  • Physical therapy and exercise regimen to improve range of motion and strengthen muscles
  • Adherence to prescribed medications
  • Adherence to follow-up appointments to monitor your progress