Patient-specific knee replacements use imaging technology to create a new joint customized for you. Before your knee replacement surgery, your surgeon will take a full-length extremity radiograph and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of your knee. Using these images, engineers analyze your anatomy and select the implant that best fits you.
Additionally, 3-D printed tools will be built that allow your doctor to precisely place your new joint during surgery.
Patient-specific knee replacements offer great benefits. They help ensure your new joint is perfectly placed and aligned with your leg. The time in surgery has also been reduced so you spend less time under anesthesia.
Who Is a Candidate?
You may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery if conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis have worn away the cartilage in your knee, causing pain. If your knee pain is keeping you from daily activities or preventing you from sleeping, it may be time for a knee replacement. Everyone who can undergo knee replacement qualifies for patient-specific knee replacement.
What to Expect
A surgeon who specializes only in performing joint replacements will perform your patient-specific knee replacement surgery. You can rely on their experience to help you have great outcomes.
At the University of Miami Health System, we use fast-track protocols to help you recover quickly and return home after surgery. You’ll begin these protocols before your surgery even starts. First, you’ll take a class to learn what to expect from surgery and how to use walkers, canes, and other assistive equipment.
You’ll also be taught exercises you can do at home to start strengthening your leg. Maintaining good muscle strength is vital for returning to activities after surgery. On the day of your surgery, your nurse will give you medicines that will help fight nausea caused by anesthesia. You’ll also receive IV fluids to keep your blood pressure at a same level and pain medicines to stop pain before it starts.
Your surgery will take about an hour. You will receive a spinal anesthesia to prevent pain instead of general anesthesia to help reduce your risk for nausea and dizziness. You will also receive sedation to keep you calm and relaxed throughout surgery.
During the surgery, your surgeon will make an incision in the front of your knee. With the use of the specialized 3-D printed tools, very precise cuts in your leg bones are performed making sure all the damaged parts of your knee are carefully removed.
They will then place the metal components that were previously sized just for you, into the bone and put a plastic spacer between the two metal pieces that takes the role of your new cartilage. Once your new joint is in place, your surgeon will close the incision and wrap your leg in bandages. You will spend a little time in a recovery area before heading to your room. Your anesthesiologist will give you a nerve block that prevents knee pain for approximately 48 hours after surgery.
Once you are in your hospital room after surgery, a physical therapist will come visit you to get you up and walking on the same day of your surgery. Walking helps you heal more quickly and safely. You’ll only need to spend one night in the hospital and will be able to return home the next day. We will ensure your pain is under control before you go home so you can continue to participate in your recovery.
You will need to attend outpatient physical therapy or have a physical therapist visit you in your home after your surgery. While you will be walking the same day as surgery, you will need to use a walker or a cane for a few weeks. By six weeks after surgery, you should be able to return to all your normal activities.
Why Choose UHealth?
Highly experienced in treating a full range of orthopaedic conditions. Our team of fellowship-trained orthopaedic specialists works together with a multidisciplinary group of physicians and scientists to provide high-quality care to people with benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) conditions. These include musculoskeletal diseases, bone and soft tissue sarcomas, metastatic diseases, benign neoplasms of bone and soft tissue, and all types of orthopedic injuries.
Specialized joint replacement care. When you receive a joint replacement at the University of Miami Health System, your surgeon is an expert who only performs joint replacements. Our experienced physicians perform thousands of replacements each year, using the latest advances like minimally invasive hip replacement and patient specific knee replacement. You can rely on their skills to relieve your joint pain and get you back to activities you love.
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