By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: July 2008
Rob Ellison, manager of the Therapy Center at Central States Orthopedic Specialists, offers total knee replacement patients pre- and post-operative education.
Is the pain in your knee too intense to bear? If you’re considering total knee replacement surgery, it is essential to choose an orthopedic surgeon who is specially trained in joint replacement. An operation can be a scary process, and knowing that your doctor has extensive experience and will guide you through every step makes the situation much less stressful. Dr. Ronald S. LaButti of Central States Orthopedic Specialists is fellowship trained in lower extremity and joint reconstruction and offers patients the latest in joint replacement surgery and technology. Dr. LaButti and his team of professionals ensure that every patient is thoroughly educated on what they can expect before and after their operation.
An important factor in deciding whether to have a total knee replacement is that you understand what the procedure can and cannot do. More than 90 percent of patients who have the surgery experience a dramatic reduction in knee pain and a significant improvement in daily functioning. “With appropriate activity modification, knee replacement can last many years,” said Rob Ellison, manager of the Therapy Center at Central States Orthopedic Specialists.
Your success post-operatively can depend on a number of factors, including the condition of your knee prior to surgery. “For those with arthritis, it is critcal to maximize range of motion and strength of the soft tissues around the joint prior to knee replacement. The healthier it is before the operation, the better shape it will be in after,” said Dr. LaButti. “For example, if you’re overweight, you may want to lose weight before the surgery to minimize stress on the newly replaced joint.”
The hospital stay for a joint replacement is three to five days, during which physical therapists will proceed with your therapy program. They assist you with general mobility, walking, transfers in and out of bed and chairs, daily exercises and how to use a walker or cane.
The next step is home health therapy, which involves initial wound care and generalized range of motion and strength training exercises. If you’re progressing slowly with your physical therapy, you may need more assistance than the home environment can offer. If so, you will be discharged to a rehabilitation facility.
Most patients will begin outpatient therapy two to three weeks after surgery. Outpatient therapy lasts one to three months and is usually driven by knee stiffness and pain. “The first month’s goal is to decrease swelling and restore range of motion. The second and third months focus on strengthening the joint and regaining ability to function for everyday activities such as driving and climbing stairs,” said Ellison.
After knee replacement, most patients will feel a significant reduction in pain that was present from the arthritis. They will, however, feel a different kind of pain stemming from the soft tissue trauma that happens with surgery.
Total knee replacement surgery has a low complication rate, but it is vital for patients to participate in regular light exercise programs to maintain proper strength and knee mobility. They must also take special precautions to avoid falls and injuries.
Dr. LaButti and his team know what it takes to achieve maximum level of functioning desired by total knee replacement patients. “A positive outcome requires early mobilization and utilization of all available resources, including physical therapy,” said Dr. LaButti.
To learn more about total knee replacement surgery, call (918) 481-2767 or go online to www.hipandkneedoc.com.
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Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.