Customize Your Total Knee Replacement with OSC
A total knee replacement (TKR), or total knee arthroplasty in medical terminology, is the surgical procedure which replaces bone and cartilage in the human knee joint. Orthopaedic Specialty Clinic is the only clinic in the Inland Northwest that offers the surgery with kinematic alignment. This research-driven technique is the most advanced form of total knee replacement. It repairs damage and relieves pain from traumatic injuries or chronic conditions by aligning the new knee implant to match the unique anatomy of each patient’s knee.
As the largest human joint and one which supports almost the entire weight of the body, the knee is very complicated. Its constant use through walking, bending, squatting, lifting, twisting and turning also makes it one of the more vulnerable joints. When arthritis, a genetic condition, or traumatic injury cause severe damage to the knee, patients can experience debilitating pain and limitations in daily activities. Such chronic knee pain is the most common motivation for visits to orthopedic surgeons. When other options prove ineffective, the best treatment for knee damage can often be a surgical total knee replacement. The procedure can often restore full function to severely damaged knees.
The Knee Implant
Once arthritis has deteriorated the patient’s joints, the surgeon replaces the damaged portions of bone with new parts. A total knee replacement involves the insertion of an implant, built out of three highly engineered components:
- a metal femoral piece
- a metal tibial piece
- a plastic spacer between to ensure ease and smoothness of motion.
In some cases, the surgeon may insert a plastic patellar component to repair damage to the kneecap (patella). These replacements work to relieve the chronic pain caused by the breakdown of natural cushioning in the joints.
The TKR Surgery
Total knee replacement certainly seems daunting, but the procedure is straightforward and reliable, with a 90% success rate after fifteen years. The patient receives anesthesia before surgery. The surgeon then arranges the leg in a bent position and makes an incision down the front of the knee.
The surgeon moves the kneecap gently aside to expose the underlying joint. The next step is to trim the damaged ends of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone), removing mostly cartilage and only small portions of bone. The surgeon shapes the bone surfaces into a stable platform for the artificial components. The surgeon may also apply surgical cement for extra stabilization. Factors like patient age and overall health determine the use of cement. Cementless surgeries depend on the bone’s fusing to the new components. They take longer to heal but with more permanent results. On the other hand, surgeries using cement promote quicker recovery and twenty or more years of viability.
After preparing the bone surface, the surgeon inserts the femoral component, followed by the metal cap for the tibia. A plastic spacer, attached to the tibial component, provides a smooth surface for the femur to glide over. If the kneecap also shows arthritic damage, the surgeon will trim away affected bone and resurface it.
Once all components of the total knee replacement are secure, the surgeon will test the knee for range of motion and smooth operation by extending and bending it into different positions. After this crucial step, the surgeon closes and bandages the incision. From here on, recovery involves monitoring, wound care, and physical therapy to prevent scar formation and increase mobility.
When Is It Time for a Total Knee Replacement?
Here at Orthopedic Specialty Clinic, before prescribing a total knee replacement, our doctors will take each patient’s individual situation into consideration. There are, however, several guiding factors to help a patient decide whether the procedure is an appropriate option.
The first factor is whether the patient suffers from osteoarthritis that may be causing bone deformity, or whether a past trauma led to joint damage. If either of these conditions exist, the patient is likely a good candidate, especially if he or she meets the following criteria:
- Failure of alternative treatments such as anti-inflammatories or physical therapy
- Poor quality of life and psychological health due to severe, unrelieved pain
- Chronic swelling or stiffness that inhibits daily activities such as walking or lifting objects.
Once a patient suffers from one or more of these symptoms, it might be time to contact an orthopedic surgeon to inquire about total knee replacement.
Why Choose Orthopedic Specialty Clinic?
Spokane’s Orthopedic Specialty Clinic offers several perks. First,we can arrange all procedures on an inpatient or outpatient basis, depending on the patient’s wishes, overall health condition, and needs. The outpatient procedure can allow the patient to recover in the comfort of his or her home, with minimal disruption to daily living. Patients will consult with Dr. Scott to determine which setting best suits their individual situations.
Second, Orthopedic Specialty Clinic is proud to offer full on-site physical therapy. Our team of caring physical, occupational, and massage therapists guide patients through their entire preparation and recovery, under the guidance of Dr. Scott. Orthopedic Specialty Clinic is the only orthopedic clinic in the Inland Northwest with a dedicated physical therapy clinic. This unique feature allows us to provide comprehensive care to patients, all in one convenient location.
At Orthopedic Specialty Clinic, we provide our customers with safe and successful total knee replacements. Recipients of an OSC procedure find themselves more satisfied with the results than patients at other clinics in the country.
According to statistics from the American Joint Replacement Registry (AJRR), on average OSC patients suffer 81% fewer post-op infections to their surgical site. They also spend almost two days fewer in the hospital than do TKR recipients throughout the United States in general.
Dr. Scott espouses state-of-the-art practices for total knee replacements. As a leader in orthopedic research, he employs kinematic alignment in his surgeries, customizing his procedures to the anatomy of individual patients. This makes him unique in local orthopedic practice where mechanical alignment is more common but less adapted to the unique shape of each knee. Patients from medical studies on kinematic alignment have reported significantly better pain relief, function, flexion, and more “normal-feeling” knees than those treated with mechanical alignment.
Dr. Scott also employs computer-aided surgery for some total knee replacements, involving a camera and computer system to aid the procedure. Computer-aided surgery can help the physician customize the surgery for the patient’s specific anatomy. This may allow for less invasive techniques and quicker recovery times. Dr. Scott was the first orthopedic surgeon in the Inland Northwest to test computer-aided surgery technology, and he helped develop the system for a major manufacturer. Dr. Scott consults with each patient to determine whether computer-aided or equally effective non-computer-assisted techniques are preferable for the patient’s needs.
Orthopedic Specialty Clinic takes pride in offering custom consultations and optimal care for every patient, regardless of the procedure. Patients living with chronic, debilitating knee pain are encouraged to contact Dr. Scott and Orthopedic Specialty Clinic today to determine whether a total knee replacement is the best next step in their treatment.