Knee pain can come in all different forms, and the issue certainly takes its toll. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Not being able to do the activities you love—or even basic daily tasks—without pain is exhausting. Whether you’re dealing with an acute injury or suffering from chronic pain, treatment from a trusted orthopedic surgeon in Kansas City can offer enormous benefits.
At Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, we have over 50 providers across the area who specialize in providing world-class orthopedic treatments. All are Board Certified orthopedic surgeons who specialize in treating knee pain and discomfort.
If you’re suffering from knee pain, read on to find out more about how KCOA can help you get back to doing what you love!
How Do Knee Problems Develop?
Knee pain can develop in a number of different ways. In fact, that goes for most joint diseases in general. One of the most common ways pain develops is just the natural wear and tear that happens over time.
Daily activities such as walking up and down stairs, deep squatting, kneeling, and more can all cause your knees to deteriorate over time. Trauma to the joint or the joint surfaces can accelerate this natural wear and tear even further.
If you feel that you may suffer from a joint disease in the knee, there are signs and symptoms to watch for. While the specific symptoms of a joint disease do vary by the joint and individual, there are some telltale signs that you need a replacement. These symptoms include:
- Aching or soreness
- Feeling like the joint is grating, grinding, or snapping
- Swelling/Enlarged joint
- Inability to bend or straighten joint
- Limitations in your ability to perform normal, daily tasks
- Uncontrolled pain
If you’re noticing any of the above issues, you might consider a consultation with an orthopedic surgeon in Kansas City. Our staff of providers are adept at offering long-term solutions for your symptoms.
Am I a Candidate for Knee Replacement?
An initial one-on-one consultation with one of our providers will help determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for knee replacement. Ultimately, your candidacy is a decision made collaboratively by you and your treatment team.
A replacement is an invasive procedure by nature, so it’s important to determine whether less invasive options are possible. These options can include things like medications, activity, modification, and physical therapy.
Your past medical history and environment also play a factor. Ideal candidates for knee replacement are generally healthy, non-smoking individuals who are at a normal and healthy weight. Additionally, due to the modifications needed in your daily life due to this procedure, it’s also helpful to have a solid support system.
With that being said, our team knows that it’s not always possible for people to meet each of these criteria. As trusted orthopedic surgeons in Kansas City, our entire team is dedicated to providing an excellent patient experience and working to ensure the best possible outcome.
The Knee Replacement Process & Benefits
If a knee replacement is the right treatment option for your needs, you can expect a number of benefits from the procedure. Though the results will vary from patient to patient, the common benefits of a replacement include:
- Pain relief
- Improvement in overall wellbeing
- Improved range of motion
- Restoration of normal alignment
- Improved ability to perform daily tasks
- Improved ability to perform recreational activities
- And more!
The length of the procedure will vary based on the individual and the joint being replaced. With that said, most can expect “standard” knee replacement to last under two hours.
The actual process of a total knee replacement is removing the damaged joint with an artificial prosthesis. These prosthetics are usually made of metal, plastics, or ceramics and work by mimicking the patterns of healthy joints. This mimicking is, ultimately, what improves your range of motion.
The material used, as well as the geometric shape, will vary based on the individual’s needs. Your age and activity level will determine the type of material needed. Depending upon a number of factors, the hip and knee replacement team will make recommendations on which materials are best for your individual needs.
Robotic Assistance for Joint Replacements
At Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, we offer multiple options when it comes to knee and hip joint replacement. As leaders in orthopedic surgery, we’re always looking for ways to improve our treatments with the latest technological advancements. One of the unique specialties we offer is the use of robot-assisted surgery for knee and hip replacements.
Robot-assisted surgery refers to the usage of technology to enhance the accuracy and placement of the prosthetic in the joint. Throughout the process, your provider is in control of the technology. However, the “robotics” helps guide them throughout the entire procedure.
At this time, robotic-assisted joint replacements are exclusively used for the knees and hips. However, as this technology grows and becomes more mainstream, KCOA plans to offer additional robotics-assisted procedures in the future.
Are There Pros and Cons to Robotic Assistance?
Robotic-assisted technology offers numerous benefits. In addition to improving the accuracy of the prosthetic’s placement, it also decreases bone loss and ensures an optimal fit. This technology allows our staff to provide what we believe is the best care, maximizing long-term results.
The use of robotic-assisted technology, in some instances, requires a pre-surgical CT scan to aid in mapping the placement of the new joint. This is the only additional cost associated with robotic-assisted joint replacement versus traditional methodologies. We do understand that this has a financial impact and will be upfront in making sure patients who choose robotic-assisted joint replacement are aware of this information.
If you’re interested in utilizing robotic assistance during your procedure but have concerns about costs, your care team will work with you to develop a solution that best suits your specific needs.
Misconceptions About Knee Replacement Procedures
One of the goals of the KCOA staff—is to educate our patients about the procedures we’re performing. Every procedure we perform has its fair share of common misconceptions. As top orthopedic surgeons in Kansas City, our providers and the KCOA staff work to ensure each patient has the correct information before making any care decisions.
- One of the more common misconceptions about knee replacements is that they’re some sort of quick fix. The fact is, this is a major procedure and needs to be treated as such. The recovery process will take time, and you won’t resume your full list of daily and recreational activities right away.
- On the other hand, we also get several patients concerned about issues such as scarring and how long they’ll need to stay. Because knee replacements generally take less than two hours, patients are usually cleared to return home that same day. Additionally, the incision itself is rather small and doesn’t leave an unsightly scar.
- Finally, it’s important to remember that surgery itself is enough to permanently resolve your issues. A knee replacement will not fix you. We expect accountability from our patients when it comes to participating in the replacement and recovery process. The surgery is a primary step toward recovery, but patient compliance with wound care, pain control and participation in therapy are necessary to achieve the best outcome.
The Knee Replacement Recovery Process
The recovery process from any joint replacement surgery varies based on a number of factors. The actual procedure performed, your pre-surgery activity level, any co-morbidities you have and your age, can all impact the speed of your recovery. Generally most people can expect to see a noticeable improvement in symptoms and function within about 12 weeks after the procedure, if they do a great job of following their individualized recovery plan.
In the aftermath of your knee replacement, taking care of your body is essential. Your care team will provide you with a post-operative plan in order to achieve the best results from treatment. This treatment plan may include activities like exercise, mobility work, and physical therapy. If you live a sedentary lifestyle and don’t follow your treatment plan, you may not achieve optimal results.
Additionally, patients can improve their recovery results by taking medications, as prescribed, and getting adequate amounts of rest. It’s also expected that patients use assistive devices such as a walker, crutches, or cane initially post-operatively. This helps to reduce the stress on the new joint and aids in balance and overall safety. Keeping your incision clean and dry, along with following scar care tips will aid in ensuring your knee recovery is optimized as well.
If you have any questions about your specific recovery process, contact your care team and they’ll get all your questions answered.
Learn More about Knee Replacement Surgery – Schedule an Appoint with an Orthopedic Surgeon in Kansas City!
At Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, we’re dedicated to creating a superior patient experience for all. Whether you’re considering a knee, hip, or other joint replacement, our team will work with you to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Scheduling an appointment with one of our -providers allows us to find the best treatment option for your needs. Using the highest quality technology, we can pinpoint the exact underlying issue causing your joint pain or discomfort.
For a thorough evaluation, call us at (913) 319-7600 or schedule an appointment today.