My Father’s Successful Knee Replacement
My father, who turned 72 earlier this year, has had continuing and increasing pain in his left knee for a while now. He finally went to see his family doctor, who in turn referred him to Dr. David Miller, a knee replacement surgeon in Richmond, VA. It turns out that his knee actually had some deterioration and he was a candidate for replacement. I didn’t know much about it so I decided a little research might be in order.
The Most Common Joint Replacement
It made sense when I read that knees are replaced more than any other joint, with more than 600,000 surgeries in the U.S. every year. It turns out that this type of treatment was pioneered in the mid-1950s, so it is definitely a procedure that has plenty of history.
Areas of the Knee
This website helped me learn some more about the anatomy of the joint. There are three main areas of the knee: the patella (you know it as the kneecap), the medial, and the lateral (these are the sides of the knee). There are muscles and ligaments as well, of course, but these three areas are the ones that are addressed by knee replacement.
Partial and Full Replacement
The amount of damage or deterioration, as well as its location within the knee, determines whether a partial or full replacement will have to be done. The surgeon removes the damaged areas of the joint from the thigh and shin bone, then attaches the new metal or plastic replacement that allow for smooth, fluid movement with no pain, once the patient has fully recovered from surgery.
According to Dr. Miller, my dad’s new knee should be good to go for the next ten to fifteen years. I know that he’s happy to be walking without pain again, and I’m happy to see it.