Knee replacement surgery is typically performed utilizing computer assisted surgical technologies. Special equipment like electromagnetic or infrared cameras displays images from inside the knee cavity onto video monitors within an operating suite. Such images are transmitted from the knee through a piece of surgical equipment called an endoscope, eliminating the need for large and painful incisions
Who Benefits from a Total Knee Replacement Procedure?
Anyone experiencing pain in the knee when walking, limited range of motion caused by a disease processes like arthritis, osteoporosis, or those who have experienced traumatic injury of the knee, may benefit from a total knee replacement. Some medical conditions that caused damage to the knees requiring surgical repair include but are not limited to:
Prior to surgery, patients are required to undergo a variety of diagnostic tests. These tests may include:
How the Procedure is Performed
An IV (intravenous) tube is placed in a vein in your hand or arm for medications and sedation to prepare you for surgery. You will be given an injection that makes you sleepy. Once in the operating room, the anesthesiologist administers a general anesthesia so you'll be asleep during the operation.
The damaged knee is placed in a bent position in order to completely expose the knee joint surface. The orthopedic surgeon then makes an 8- to 10-inch incision along the kneecap, effectively exposing the knee joint. The surgeon then chips or cuts away the damaged joint surface, and inserts and attaches a new artificial joint into the knee cavity.
Utilizing a minimally invasive approach, damaged areas of the knee joint are removed, and a metal prosthetic piece is inserted into the cavity. Prosthetics are attached to remaining bone with special bone cement. Depending on the stability of your knee joint, the surgeon decides on a hinged or unhinged knee joint prosthetic. The orthopedic surgeon will ensure proper placement by rotating and bending your knee for proper fit and function.
A total knee replacement procedure may take up to 2 hours.
How Much Does a Total Knee Replacement Cost?
In the United States, the cost of a total knee replacement may range between $40,000 and $70,000. Costs will also depend on where the surgery is performed, the type of joint replacement prosthetic, and other hospital service fees. However, traveling to locationslike Singapore or Thailand can save thousands of dollars. For example, knee replacement surgery in Thailand averages $13,000 and in India, knee replacement procedures average between $7,000 and $11,500.
Finding the Right Doctor
Orthopedic surgeons must pass board certification following oral and written examinations in their native or adoptive countries of origin. For example, in the United States, this is the American Orthopedic Association, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons or the American Board of Medical Specialties.
Following educational courses and exams, most orthopedic surgeons or professionals are required to complete a four-year residency-training program within a hospital setting. In addition, a resident is required to pass board certification exams prior to being recognized by the America Board of Orthopedic Surgeons. To maintain Board certification, surgeons must test and pass exams given every ten years that insures that continuing education requirements have been met.
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