The most common condition that results in the need for total knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and older adults. Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in the knees. Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis that results from a knee injury, can also lead to degeneration of the knee joint. In addition, fractures, torn cartilage or torn ligaments can lead to irreversible damage to the knee joint over the years.
When a knee is severely damaged by disease or injury, an artificial knee replacement may be considered. During total knee replacement surgery, joint surfaces are substituted or replaced by prostheses.
The decision to replace the painful knee with an artificial one is a joint decision between you and your doctor. Other alternative treatments, including assistive walking devices, anti-inflammatory medicines, injections and bracing, may first be used.
Services We Provide
Hawaii Pacific Health has well-developed programs for patients who are seeking a total knee replacement. Straub Medical Center has three orthopedic surgeons who, combined, perform several hundred knee replacement surgeries every year. Wilcox Medical Center on Kauai also has three orthopedic surgeons who have expertise in total knee replacement, drawing patients from over Kauai, the neighbor islands and other parts of the world.
Patients scheduled for total knee replacement surgery are followed by a team every step of the way, from the decision to have surgery through the months after surgery, to ensure that the entire journey is well coordinated. Prior to surgery, patients and a family member or friend who will serve as their “coach” through this journey are invited to take part in an educational class. This class is designed to share information about the upcoming surgery, the hospital stay, therapy and what to expect during each stage of recovery. Some patients return home in the evening following surgery, while others stay one night in the hospital. All patients leave with an appointment to follow up with the surgeon and an appointment to begin physical therapy at a clinic of their choice. It is important to have a good plan for support at home after discharge and in the coming weeks, as ability to drive and do household chores will be limited.
If you suffer from significant pain and lack of normal motion in your knee, please contact your surgeon’s office for an evaluation.
Hawaii Pacific Health Bone & Joint Center at Pali Momi Medical Center
Wilcox Bone & Joint Center