Every year, more than 400,000 people in the U.S. undergo total joint replacement surgery, usually because of chronic joint pain caused by arthritis. Severe joint pain can affect every aspect of daily living, including walking, exercise, leisure, recreation and work.
The goal of total knee replacement surgery is to reduce your pain, restore your independence, and return you to work and the things you love to do.
Total Knee Replacement Surgery at CentraState
In choosing The Total Joint Center of New Jersey at CentraState for your total knee replacement surgery, you’ll be cared for by a team of orthopedic experts dedicated to helping you return to an active lifestyle and a higher quality of living.
Computer-Assisted, Minimally Invasive Total Knee Replacement
For patients suffering from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sports- and exercise-related injuries and other posttraumatic arthritis, minimally invasive computer-assisted total knee replacement surgery may be able to help.
Computer-assisted total knee replacement surgery capitalizes on new high-precision technology and vast improvements in prosthetic design and components. Misalignment is a leading cause of joint replacement failure, resulting in the need for additional knee surgeries or "revisions." The computer serves as a tool to support the orthopedic surgeon's own skill and judgment in making the knee replacement surgery more accurate.
During computer-assisted total knee replacement surgery, an infrared camera tracks sensors attached to a patient's femur and tibia. These sensors register, or create an image of the knee joint, when is displayed on a monitor. The process allows the surgeon to see parts of the bones in the knee that are visually inaccessible, to check the accuracy of a cut and even test the stability and tension of the knee joint on the display.
The computer suggests to the surgeon the optimum location for an incision, further improving the accuracy of this highly precise knee replacement surgery. The surgery eliminates the need to use an intramedullary rod as a guide to cut the bone, resulting in less bleeding, pain and bone trauma, and eliminating the incidence of complications, including risky fat embolisms in patients.
CentraState offers computer-assisted, minimally invasive knee replacement surgery using the Ci System by iOrthopaedics. Knee replacement patients who undergo the procedure tend to recover more quickly and may enjoy the greatest long-term outcome success—an important consideration as people age and seek to maintain mobility and an active lifestyle.
CentraState also offers the Zimmer®Gender Solutions™Knee, a knee replacement that is shaped and sized to fit a woman's anatomy.
Easier Recovery from Total Knee Replacement Surgery
By using minimally invasive techniques to perform a total knee replacement surgery, the surgeon reduces the amount of cutting involved, which helps to minimize scarring, post-operative pain and the possibility of infection. This process also allows most patients to recover mobility and range of motion more quickly. Patients who undergo minimally invasive knee replacement may leave the hospital in as few as two days following the knee replacement surgery, while patients who undergo the traditional open surgery are typically hospitalized for four-and-a-half days. Additionally, recovery time may be reduced by up to two months.
Many total knee replacement patients are able to walk the first day after surgery. Most patients, with guidance from their doctor and proper rehabilitation, are able to return to walking for longer distances and other activities they enjoy—in just a few weeks.
Total Knee Replacement Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
Below are the most commonly asked questions about total knee replacement surgery. If you still have questions after reading this section, please refer to our education guide book or talk to your surgeon. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about this procedure—because the more you know going into your surgery, the better your results and recovery.
Why does arthritis cause my knee to hurt?
Eventually, arthritis wears away cartilage down to the bone. Rubbing of bone on bone causes pain, swelling and stiffness.
What is total knee replacement?
A total knee replacement is actually a cartilage replacement with an artificial surface. An artificial substitute for cartilage is inserted on the end of the bones—a metal alloy on the femur and plastic spacer on the tibia and kneecap. This forms a new smooth cushion and a functioning joint that does not hurt.
What are the results of total knee replacement?
Most patients experience good to excellent results with relief of discomfort and significantly increased activity and mobility.
How long will I be in the hospital?
Most knee replacement patients will be in the hospital for approximately three days after their surgery. There are several goals you must accomplish before you can be discharged.
Do I need to be under anesthesia for total knee replacement surgery?
You may have a spinal or epidural anesthetic, which numbs your legs only and does not require you to be asleep. However, even with a spinal or epidural, you are typically given a sedative to relax you. Or you could have a general anesthetic, which induces a state of unconsciousness. The decision is up to you and is best discussed with your anesthesiologist.
Where will I go after discharge from the hospital?
Most patients are able to go home directly after discharge. Some may transfer to an outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation facility, such as The Manor Health and Rehabilitation Center. Inpatient stays typically last from three to 10 days. Our TJC coordinator or discharge planner will help you with this decision and make the necessary arrangements. You should check with your insurance company to determine what level of hospital inpatient, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy, and/or homecare benefits you have.
Will I need help at home?
Yes. The first several days or weeks, depending on your progress, you will need someone to assist you with meal preparation and other activities of daily living. If you go directly home from the hospital, the TJC coordinator or discharge planner will arrange for a home health care nurse to come to your house as needed (depending on what your insurance allows). Family or friends need to be available to help if possible.
Preparing ahead of time, before your surgery, can minimize the amount of help needed. Having the laundry done, house cleaned, yard work completed, clean linens put on the bed, and single portion, frozen meals ready to go will reduce the need for extra help.
When will I be able to get back to work?
We recommend that most people take at least one month off from work, unless their jobs are quite sedentary and they can return to work with crutches. An occupational therapist can make recommendations for joint protection and energy conservation on the job.
Tell me a little about aftercare and how it is covered by insurance?
Rehabilitation services after surgery include inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, as well as homecare. Insurance coverage varies and referrals to rehabilitation facilities or homecare (such as the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey) will depend on a combination of patient need and insurance coverage. If a particular service is not covered by insurance, patients can choose to pay privately if the service is available.
How long will my new knee last and, if needed, could I have a second knee replacement?
The goal is to provide a knee replacement that lasts a lifetime. Most knee replacements last more than 15 years. However, there is no guarantee. A small percentage do not last that long. So, a second replacement may be necessary.
For more information on knee replacement surgery at The Total Joint Center of New Jersey at CentraState, call (866) CENTRA7. Please visit our physician directory to locate an orthopedic surgeon.