Total & Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

05 December 2017 / By Andrea

What to expect

Total Knee Replacement

During total knee replacement surgery, Dr. Berger creates a small, 3- to 4-inch incision along the kneecap to reveal the end of the thigh bone, the top of the shin bone, and the back of the kneecap: the arthritic knee. While preserving the soft tissues, Dr. Berger begins by removing the arthritis on the bottom of the thigh bone, using special guides to help shape the bone so the prosthesis fits securely. He then removes arthritic bone from the top of the shin and the back of the kneecap. At this time any bone spurs or scar tissue that may have formed will be removed.

Next, Dr. Berger uses sizer pieces that range in increments of millimeters to measure the patient’s bone and determine the perfect-fit prosthesis. Upon reaching the optimal size, he secures the first part of the prosthesis to the end of the thigh bone using cement. The second part of the prosthesis is cemented to the top of the shin bone. He then snaps a polyethylene liner to the top of the shin bone component. This liner acts as cartilage and facilitates smooth and fluid movement. The final piece of the prosthesis is a polyethylene liner that is cemented to the back of the kneecap.


Partial Knee Replacement

During partial knee replacement, Dr. Berger follows the same procedure with one major difference. Dr. Berger carefully replaces the arthritic compartment of the knee while leaving the healthy side of the knee untouched.

Once all prosthesis pieces are in place, range of motion is tested by manually straightening and bending the patient’s knee. Surgery is finished by cleansing the inside of the knee with an antibiotic wash to prevent infection before closing the incision. On average, the whole process takes just over an hour.

After surgery, the patient is sent to a recovery room where they are cared for by one of Dr. Berger’s nurses.  A physical therapist will assist the patient to walk, climb stairs, and will provide the appropriate assistive device, such as a cane. Once the patient has been thoroughly examined, they are discharged from the hospital the same day of surgery.

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