Is Total Knee Replacement for You?

Is Total Knee Replacement for You?, TPL Orthopedics and Sports MedicineSevere damage to the knee may be caused due to injury or arthritis. This can be a debilitating condition, and the patient may have to consider total knee replacement. Knee replacement surgery is a proven and effective procedure to correct leg deformity, relieve pain, and help to restore normal activities.

Total knee replacement has emerged as one of the most successful procedures in medicine. Over 600,000 knee replacements are performed in the US every year. Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler provide this procedure to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding locations.



The decision to choose total knee replacement surgery should be a cooperative one between the patient and the orthopedic surgeon. The family and the personal physician may also contribute to this decision and support the patient. The physician may refer the patient for a professional evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon to determine their candidacy.

Age and weight restrictions do not exist in case of total knee replacement surgery. The candidacy will be determined on the basis of the severity of disability and pain, and not the patient’s age or body weight. A majority of patients who receive this surgery are in the age group of 50 to 80.

However, each case will be evaluated individually by the orthopedic surgeon. An appropriate candidate for total knee replacement may range from a young teen with juvenile arthritis to an elderly patient with degenerative arthritis. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler are board certified orthopedic surgeons receiving patients from Las Vegas, Nevada and nearby areas for total knee replacement surgery.


When Surgery is Recommended

The surgeon may recommend knee replacement after evaluating various factors. Patients with one or more of the following conditions may often benefit from total knee replacement:

  • A knee has become bowed due to acute arthritis
  • Severe stiffness or pain in the knee hampers the performance of daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of a chair
  • Only a short walk results in significant pain in the knee, or a cane or walker is essential to walk
  • Moderate or severe knee pain persists even while resting during day or night
  • Swelling and chronic inflammation in the knee that does not subside with medications or rest
  • A significant knee deformity
  • Negligible or no improvement in the pain and movement of the knee with anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, or physical therapy



Arthroplasty or knee replacement surgery essentially involves only the surface of the bones being replaced. The surgeon will prepare the bone by removing cartilage surfaces along with a small portion of the underlying bone. The removed cartilage and bone will be replaced with metal components to recreate the surface of the joint.

The under-surface of the kneecap will be cut and resurfaced, depending on the case. A medical grade plastic spacer will be inserted between the metal components to create a smooth gliding surface. The surgery may be performed on an outpatient basis, but in case of older patients, the surgeon may advise an overnight stay at the hospital.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. call (702) 933-9393; Physical Therapy (702) 933-9394

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