Severe osteoarthritis, particularly in people above the age of 50, and any serious knee injuries may necessitate knee replacement surgery. Patients whose quality of life is hampered due to a stiff, painful knee, and who have exhausted other treatments, may be sterling candidates for knee replacement surgery.
According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, nine out of 10 patients report a significant reduction in knee pain and enjoy improved mobility following total knee replacement (TKR) surgery. Dr. Steven Thomas and Dr. Gregory Bigler are board certified orthopedic surgeons providing knee replacement surgery to patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, and surrounding communities.
Total Knee Replacement (TKR)
Cutting edge surgical techniques and technology have led to the development of very precise and functional artificial knee implants that can mimic the movement of the natural knee, and can be custom-fitted to the patient’s body. TKR is now considered among the safest and most effective of orthopedic surgeries.
In the TKR procedure, the surgeon will remove damaged parts of the bone and replace the knee with an artificial implant that is ideally suited for the patient’s unique anatomy. The arthritic bone will be cut away carefully and the healthy bone underneath will be reshaped precisely to fit into the implant components. The procedure must be performed by an experienced and board certified orthopedic surgeon for best results. Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada, and nearby areas for this surgery.
TKR involves a four-step procedure in most cases. The first step involves preparation of the bone. The damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the thighbone and shinbone are removed, and a small part of the underlying bone is also removed. In the second step, the metal-based femoral and tibial implants are placed in the desired position, and the surgeon will either press-fit them or cement them to the bone.
In the third step, the surgeon will insert a plastic button underneath the kneecap. Resurfacing the undersurface of the kneecap may be needed in this process in order to affix it properly to the button. In the fourth and final step, the orthopedic surgeon will implant a plastic spacer between the femoral and tibial metal components.
This medical grade spacer will help to create a smooth surface that glides easily and carries out the motion of the natural knee. The implants must be aligned precisely and fitted carefully to the bone in this procedure in order to achieve successful results. The procedure is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Knee replacement surgery can now be performed using minimally invasive techniques. Specialized instruments are used to make a significantly smaller incision, which is only about three to five inches in length.
Tissue damage is minimized with this approach because the surgeon can work between the muscle fibers instead of an incision through the tendon. This technique can reduce the pain, shorten the recovery period, and help to improve motion due to less scar tissue formation.
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