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Jackson South Medical Center

Knee Replacement

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If nonsurgical treatments such as oral anti-inflammatory medications, knee injections, or weight loss are not relieving your pain and your quality of life is affected, you may still achieve the results you want with surgery. There is a variety of surgical treatments for problems involving the knee. The correct option depends on your individual diagnosis.


At times, arthroscopy is the first surgical treatment for mild knee osteoarthritis in patients with symptoms related to the meniscus and loose bodies/debris. An arthroscopy is a surgical procedure done with a camera and other instruments designed to enter the joint through small incision on either side of the patella tendon. This allows the surgeon to see the majority of the knee without the need to make large incisions. The meniscus is a structure made of special cartilage that helps cushion the knee and provide added stability to the joint.

Symptoms related to a meniscus tear can be similar to arthritis. You may experience pain localized to the joint line that is worse with walking, standing, or bending. You may also experience swelling and stiffness. Larger meniscus tears can lead to a piece of the meniscus that gets caught between the end of the thigh bone (distal femur) and the top of the shin bone (proximal tibia). This can lead to catching and/or locking of the knee. This means that the knee gets stuck when trying to straighten and bend or that you are not able to fully straighten the knee.

The best results for arthroscopy occur when the patient has little or no arthritis and a tear that causes catching and locking. In the patient with significant arthritis, arthroscopy may not provide adequate pain relief. For patients with advanced arthritis leading to poor quality of life, a knee replacement is a more reliable surgical treatment option.

Partial Knee Replacement

In some cases, patients only have arthritis or pain in just one part of the knee. These patients may be candidates for a partial knee replacement. This surgery removes the damaged bone ends from just one part of the knee and replaces them with metal and plastic implants. This is in contrast to a total knee replacement where all three parts of the joint are replaced. In a partial knee replacement, the ligaments of the knee are preserved and patients often describe the knee as more natural feeling. The recovery following partial knee replacements is typically shorter and, in some cases, can even be performed on an outpatient basis.

Total Knee Replacement

Total knee replacement is a surgery designed to treat knee arthritis that is leading to increased pain and decreased function due poor mobility, stiffness, instability, or deformity. In a total knee replacement, the damaged, worn out portion of the knee joint is replaced with metal and plastic prosthesis. By doing this, we are able to eliminate deformity, restore stability, and alleviate pain leading to a significant improvement in quality of life for the patient. The implants are held in place by a special glue that grabs hold of the bone to provide, proven long-term survival.


Click here to learn more about total knee replacement surgery.

How Long Does A Knee Replacement Last?

The longevity of a knee prosthesis is based on a patient’s physical condition, including their daily activity level. Many studies have shown excellent long-term survival of about 10 to 15 years.

What Risks Are Involved?

There are risks and benefits associated with any treatment and your individual risk profile is dependent on many factors including medical co-morbidities, smoking status, and body weight, among others. It is important to tell your doctor if you are at risk for blood clots and if you experience any stiffness, potential fracture, discrepancies in length of your legs, or if you have dislocated the knee after your surgery.

Aside from the surgical risks previously mentioned, your primary care physician or any other indicated specialists can complete a pre-operative evaluation. The goal is to identify any risk factors that can be optimized pre-operatively to reduce the incidence of medical complications around the time of surgery.

Minimally Invasive Options for Total Knee Replacement

Traditional knee replacements involve larger incisions measuring up to 12 inches. More importantly, larger incisions lead to more soft tissue injury. This trauma to the soft tissues is the source for increased pain and slower recoveries associated with traditional total knee replacements. The size of the incision should be appropriate for the patient being treated.

Instrumentation for total knee replacements has evolved to allow for more soft tissue friendly procedures. Minimally invasive procedures utilize different positions and customized instrumentation to allow for smaller incisions with less muscle damage. This, in turn, leads to decreased pain and a faster recovery. Speak with your physician to determine which procedure is right for you.


The Orthopaedic Center at Jackson South
9380 S.W. 150th Street, Suite 270
Miami, FL 33136
Phone: 305-256-4334
Fax: 305-256-4336

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The Orthopaedic Center at Jackson South

Dr. Alejandro Diaz Dr. Alejandro Diaz
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