Knee Replacement Surgery

Overview

Personalized Knee Replacement to Stop Knee Pain

Chronic (ongoing) knee pain can disrupt your life. Knee pain can make it hard to walk, stand or even sit comfortably. If therapy, medication and walking aids no longer work for you, you may want to explore knee replacement.

At Aurora Health Care, we offer several types of knee replacement procedures to eliminate the pain. Our highly trained orthopedic knee surgeons have the skills and tools to make you comfortable again.

We provide total knee replacement, partial knee replacement and advanced arthroscopic procedures, which use small incisions. Our goal is to help you manage pain and move freely so you can get back to enjoying life.

The Aurora Difference

Innovation in Knee Replacement Surgery

Our knee surgeons perform many knee replacement surgeries each year. We customize every knee replacement surgery to fit your needs, and we continually look for ways to make surgery more precise and your recovery faster.

Aurora’s knee replacement innovations include:

  • Robot-assisted knee replacement: We offer robot-assisted knee replacement, which helps your surgeon perform precise movements while disturbing your body as little as possible. Like other minimally invasive procedures, you’ll need only the smallest incisions, so you can heal faster, with less pain.
  • Arthroscopic-assisted procedures: Some surgeries are arthroscopic assisted. This means we use special tools (arthroscopes) to perform surgery through smaller incisions. Minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures are known for less scarring and faster recovery times.
  • Fast recovery: Many of our total knee replacement surgeries are same-day surgeries. You will most likely go home within 24-48 hours .
  • Proactive pain management: We offer comprehensive pain management that focuses on pain prevention before and after surgery. Slow-release pain relievers keep you comfortable so that you can get up and moving sooner.

Knee Replacement

Personalized Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement is one of the most common and successful medical procedures available today. We carefully evaluate your condition and recommend the type of knee surgery that will help you the most. If you’re just learning about knee surgery, you may want to find out more about knee pain.

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Before choosing total knee replacement, most people try nonsurgical methods to ease knee pain. Your doctor may recommend reduced activity, medication, bracing or physical therapy. Learn more about our treatments for knee pain.

During total knee replacement, an orthopedic surgeon removes damaged bone and cartilage (the coating that helps bones move smoothly). Then they replace damaged tissue with an artificial joint.

Total knee replacement surgery can help if you have:

  • Pain severe enough to make it hard to go about your daily activities
  • Significant joint stiffness and loss of mobility
  • Advanced arthritis or other degenerative issues

Partial Knee Replacement Surgery

Partial knee replacement involves removing only the parts of the knee that are worn out. This procedure is also known as unicompartmental (one part) knee replacement.

We frequently do partial knee replacement for certain people, like those with arthritis in only one part of the knee. Learn more about arthritis.

People recover faster from partial knee replacement than total knee replacement because the incision is smaller. Our doctors will recommend a knee replacement that is right for you.

ACL-Sparing Knee Replacement

Some people are candidates for ACL-sparing knee replacement, also known as cruciate-retaining knee replacement. This procedure replaces the knee, but leaves in place the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). We use a special artificial knee implant that leaves ligaments intact.

ACL-sparing knee replacement can help people who have damage to the knee joint but whose ligaments are still strong and healthy. This procedure can provide a more stable knee and more natural movement compared to total knee replacement. Learn more about ACL repair.

MAKOplasty® Partial Knee Resurfacing

For people who have osteoarthritis that does not affect all three compartments (parts) of the knee, we offer MAKOplasty®, a robotic arm-assisted partial knee resurfacing procedure. MAKOplasty is a knee replacement alternative that leaves more of your healthy bone tissue and ligaments in place.

The procedure can relieve pain and restore range of motion. We may recommend MAKOplasty instead of total knee replacement surgery. Read more about arthritis.

Knee Revision Surgery

Years after a knee replacement surgery, you may start experiencing pain, swelling or instability in the knee. This is a normal result of wear and tear affecting the artificial knee joint.

Our skilled surgeons provide revision total knee replacement surgery for people who need a new knee replacement. Revision surgery may also be an option for people who have formed excessive scar tissue, leading to stiffness around the original implant.

Before Surgery

Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

Before you have knee replacement surgery, we’ll help you prepare for surgery and recovery. We’ll probably recommend you participate in two programs to help you get ready physically and logistically: Prehab, which is rehabilitation you do before surgery, and Joint Academy, a preoperative educational class.

Prehab helps you physically prepare for surgery. During Prehab, you will:

  • Plan ways to get around using a cane or walker for a few weeks, being especially careful on stairs
  • Build strength before surgery and plan for physical therapy after surgery
  • Stop smoking, if you smoke, because smoking can affect anesthesia and make it harder for the body to heal after surgery

Joint Academy is preoperative education that generally occurs in a group setting at one of our locations. When you attend Joint Academy, you’ll learn:

  • More about your upcoming surgery, including procedure details and how to prep
  • How to get your home ready for your return post-surgery
  • How to choose and prepare your care partner – someone who can help you after surgery
  • What to expect the day of surgery, including arrival at the hospital, getting ready for surgery and recovery

Learn more about Aurora Joint Academy.

Recovery

After Your Knee Replacement Surgery

The first few days after knee replacement surgery require special care.

Our teams often use slow-release anesthetics (pain relievers) to help you recover more comfortably. You’ll probably return home within a day or two after surgery, and we’ll stay in close touch as you continue rehabilitation.

We help knee replacement patients begin moving the day of surgery. This means a member of our physical therapy team starts working with you right away in the hospital to get you up on your feet and taking a few steps at a time.

Physical Therapy After Knee Surgery

Most people begin physical therapy soon after their knee replacement. Your therapist will prescribe home exercises to help you build flexibility in your knee.

We offer physical therapy at numerous Aurora locations throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Learn more about orthopedic physical therapy.

Recovery After Knee Surgery

A few weeks after surgery, we’ll remove your sutures (stitches) or staples. About a month after knee replacement surgery, you’ll see your doctor again. During your visit, you’ll have an X-ray to check how your knee is healing.

Throughout this time, you’ll continue recovering at home, doing exercises and movements to help your body adjust to your new knee. People generally resume regular activities within about six weeks.

How Long Will a Knee Replacement Last?

Most knee replacements last at least 15 to 20 years. You can help your knee replacement last longer by staying active and healthy, closely following your doctor’s instructions and taking good care of your new knee.

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