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We hope you're able to walk, run and dance through your entire life with your healthy natural joints. But if you find that over time your knees have become arthritic and painful, knee replacement might be for you. Knees and several other joints are now replaceable through advanced technology and leading-edge surgical techniques. To learn more, we talked with board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Brian Palumbo, Medical Director of the Florida Hospital Tampa Orthopedic Care Center.
Who Needs Knee Replacement Surgery
“Patients who have been suffering from severe arthritis in their knee for years and have exhausted all conservative treatment options are the prime candidates for knee replacement surgery,” explains Dr. Palumbo.
Conservative treatment options will generally include some or all of the following:
- Weight Loss
- Physical Therapy
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications
- Cortisone Injections
- Viscosupplementation or Gel Injections
Once all these conservative treatment options have been exhausted, it’s probably time to start looking at knee replacement surgery as your best option for maintaining your normal, active lifestyle and whole well-being.
What to Expect Before and After Surgery
“After conservative treatment has shown to be ineffective and you’ve decided to go with the surgical route rather than giving up your natural mobility, your general practitioner will need to clear you for surgery,” explains Dr. Palumbo. “Once that’s done it’s really a very quick and convenient procedure. Most knee replacement surgeries are outpatient affairs. Occasionally, it may require a night spent recovering under observation.”
The multi-disciplinary team at Florida Hospital Tampa uses advanced techniques to provide a coordinated pathway to care. The best example of this is the use of custom fabricated prosthetics designed to fit your body and aligned surgically to leave you feeling like the knee has always been yours. A CT scan is required before surgery to image your original knee so that an identical, arthritis-free, custom knee can be built for you. These important steps of the replacement process not only leave you with a familiar joint but also have been shown to improve healing and recovery time as well as making for a better long-term comfort.
Physical therapy after surgery is essential to recovery, explained Dr. Palumbo.
“The surgery itself usually only lasts about an hour and after that the recovery is done at home. For the first 2 to 3 weeks home health care will visit to perform physical therapy as needed and after that most patients require an additional 3 weeks of outpatient PT at one of our many convenient clinics,” he says.
“At that point the healing process is about 70-80 percent complete. After 3 months you should be at 90 percent and total normality restored in about a year with the last aches and pains finally fading away.”
Personalized, Coordinated Care
We collaborate not only with individual physicians but with other health organizations like the Florida Orthopaedic Institute to deliver the convenient care that you’ve come to expect from us. To learn more about what surgical options are available to you, please visit Florida Hospital or call 855-303-DOCS.