Knee Replacement in Dearborn & Jackson, MILearn more about knee replacement surgery with Dr. Faulkner and whether you might be a good candidate. Knee Surgeon Also Serving Ann Arbor, Allen Park, Trenton, & ChelseaThe knee joint connects the bones of the upper and lower legs. Three bones make up the knee joint: the thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia) and kneecap (patella). Most daily activities, such as walking, climbing stairs or getting up from a seated position, depend on a healthy knee joint. When the components of the knee joint do not work harmoniously, the resulting pain and disability can be excruciating.If you have personally experienced knee pain, arthritis, injuries or other conditions, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Alfred Faulkner can help.When Is Total Knee Replacement Needed?Total knee replacement offers a new lease on life for individuals who are affected by severe knee injuries, pain or arthritis. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but total knee replacement is generally recommended when the risks of not replacing the knee are too great. Perhaps not replacing the knee could cause further deterioration and disability that is disruptive to activities of daily living, or it could lead to chronic sadness, anxiety or depression. It is also possible that not replacing the knee could lead to problems affecting other areas of the body, such as the hips.What Is the Difference Between Total and Partial Knee Replacement?The knee has three main parts: the medial compartment (along the inner knee), the lateral compartment (along the outer knee) and the patellofemoral compartment (at the front of the knee, between the thigh and kneecap). If only one compartment — specifically the medial or lateral compartment — is damaged, it may be possible to perform a partial knee replacement to restore the functionality of the knee. However, if two or more compartments need replacement, total knee replacement is the appropriate solution.Patients do not generally need to “decide” between the two types of surgery, because the condition of their knees dictates which procedure is necessary.Knee Pain Consultation with Dr. FaulknerConsulting with Dr. Faulkner can help you determine the most reasonable course of action for your particular case. During your evaluation with the doctor, he will gather information about your medical history, current health and the condition of your knee. He will evaluate your knee’s strength, stability and range of motion. Dr. Faulkner will use X-ray images and other tests to assess the severity of the injury or pain and, if necessary, plan for your joint replacement surgery.Usually Dr. Faulkner suggests trying non-surgical solutions for knee pain and injuries first — such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections or rest. If the problem does not resolve, total knee replacement may be appropriate in your circumstances.Knee Replacement Procedure DetailsTotal knee replacement may be performed on an outpatient basis or require a short hospital stay. Anesthesia is used during the operation so you do not feel pain.After creating an incision, Dr. Faulkner will remove the damaged knee cartilage and affected areas of bone and prepare the joint surfaces for the artificial implant. He will attach the implant and bend and rotate the knee to ensure the implant supports normal movement and function. To finish, he will close the incisions. The operation takes an average of two hours.Total Knee Replacement RecoveryAfter total knee replacement, rest and rehabilitation are critical. Dr. Faulkner will provide comprehensive instructions for caring for your healing incisions and resting your knee. You will be asked to slowly resume walking and performing daily exercises to restore movement and strength to your knee. You will be under the guidance of a physical therapist, who can safely guide you through the specific exercises necessary for proper knee function.Everyone’s recovery timetable is slightly different, but patients usually resume most activities of daily living three to six weeks after surgery.Cost of Total Knee ReplacementAlthough knee surgery can be pricy, the good news is that the procedure is covered by most health insurance plans. Dr. Faulkner documents the problems he observes in your knees so that your insurance provider has proof that the surgery is medically necessary and therefore gets approved. Out of pocket costs depend on the specific terms of your policy.Total Knee Replacement FAQsIs total knee replacement surgery my only option?Total knee replacement is often a great solution for improving a faulty knee, but it is not the only option. Dr. Faulkner works with patients to find solutions to their joint issues that may not require surgery. It may also be possible to replace part of the knee rather than the entire joint.How long will my knee replacement last?In most patients, knee replacements last for close to 20 years before a subsequent replacement becomes necessary. By choosing an expert orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Faulkner, you are minimizing your risks for needing to have surgery again within a few years.Having a high level of activity or excess body weight can put undue pressure on the joint replacement, thereby shortening its lifespan. Dr. Faulkner will discuss various risk factors that you can consider to further protect your new knee.Do I have to do physical therapy after knee replacement surgery?Physical therapy is strongly encouraged for any patient who has total knee replacement. It is a way to safely improve the functionality of your knee under professional supervision so that you can regain full or near-full mobility. Though the timeline differs from patient to patient, most patients have physical therapy for a few months after their surgery. Most insurance plans will cover these appointments to help you avoid reinjuring your knee.What kind of risks are associated with knee surgery?Although total knee replacement is a safe procedure, any surgery carries some inherent risks. Patients are at a slight risk for infection, nerve injury and blood clots. Dr. Faulkner will monitor you after your surgery to ensure that side effects do not pose harm to your health.How soon can I drive after knee replacement surgery?You must be off your prescription pain medications before you can operate a vehicle again. For most patients, this is about one month after their surgery. Please consult with Dr. Faulkner on this matter.Discuss Your Case With Dr. FaulknerIf you are living with unbearable knee pain or limited function, total knee replacement may be a good option for you. To discuss your case with renowned orthopedic surgeon Alfred Faulkner, please call or email our office today.