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What to expect with Knee Replacement Surgery

Dr. Harb performs minimally invasive, muscle sparing knee replacement surgery. This technique allows Dr. Harb to replace the knee without cutting any muscles or ligaments. The incision for knee replacement surgery is approximately 3-5 inches in length. During the exposure the ends of the bone are carefully exposed. The arthritic ends of the bones are removed and the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (leg bone) are prepared for component.

Depending on bone quality you may receive an implant that is fixed to bone with bone cement or a cementless knee replacement. The bones are capped witha cobalt chromium femur and tibia and a polyethylene (high grade plastic) insert is placed between into the tibial tray. The articulation of knee is between the polyethylene and the cobalt chromium femur.

The knee cap will be inspected for signs of damage and arthritis. If there is minimal arthritis on the knee cap and the patella tracks properly Dr. Harb will leave it unsurfaced. This leaves more of your native bone, causes less pain, avoids the risk of fracture of the knee cap. If the knee cap shows significant damage Dr. Harb will replace it with a polyethylene patella button.

Once all the prosthesis are in place, Dr. Harb tests the knee for range of motion and stability. After stability is confirmed the knee is washed with antibiotics to prevent infection and your kneeis closed. On average the length of surgery from start to finish is about sixty to ninety minutes.

After surgery you will be sent to the recovery room and you will begin to walk with a walker for protection. You will then be seen by medical staff and if you are safe for discharge you will be released from the surgery center or hospital.

To prevent your surgery from being postponed you will need to complete the following items.

  1. Read your Joint Replacement Handbook carefully.
  2. Determine who your care partner will be.
  3. Determine where you will have physical therapy after surgery.
  4. Complete your planning worksheet located in your handbook.
  5. Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider or medical doctor for medical clearance.
  6. Take the medical clearance form provided to your primary care doctor for clearance. If directed, also schedule an appointment with any specialty providers, which may include cardiology, pulmonology, dentist. These appointments must be completed prior to your surgery.

Knee Replacement Book

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  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society
  • Sibley Memorial Hospital
  • Johns Hopkins University