Your knees are important parts of your structural anatomy – and healthy knees are essential for walking and sports. If you are experiencing knee pain, read on to learn more about knee replacement surgery – because knee replacements are helping people of all ages live happier, pain free, more active lives.

Knee replacement surgery is also known as knee arthroplasty. It is most commonly performed to relieve severe pain caused by osteoarthritis. It can restore function in a severely diseased knee joint by cutting away damaged bone and cartilage from the thighbone, shinbone and kneecap and replacing the damaged joint with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers.

The first “artificial knees” were basically crude hinges. Today, there is a wide variety of designs that take into account your age, weight, activity level and overall health. Most knee replacement joints are designed to act like your natural knee. Those who need knee replacement surgery usually have problems climbing stairs and walking. Some also have moderate or severe knee pain while at rest. Knee replacement surgery is major surgery, and as with any surgery, carries some risk. However, these risks are low. They may include: Infection, blood clots, heart attack, stroke or nerve damage.

And, as with any major surgery, it is important to plan for your recovery. For several weeks following the procedure, you may need crutches or a walker. If you live alone, it’s a good idea to make arrangements for help with everyday tasks, such as cooking, bathing and doing laundry. Within three to six weeks, you can resume most daily activities, such as shopping and light housekeeping. You can drive at around three weeks, but you must be able to bend your knee far enough to sit in a car and have enough muscle control to operate the brakes and accelerator. After you’ve fully recovered, you can enjoy a variety of low-impact activities, such as swimming, walking or biking.

For most people, knee replacement surgery provides pain relief, improved mobility and a better quality of life. Call for a consultation appointment, today, and let us discuss with you what you can expect from knee replacement surgery at Great Lakes Orthopedic: St. John (219) 365-0228; Crown Point (219) 661-8008; Lowell (219) 696-6353.