When your knees hurt, your daily routine suffers. You've tried physical therapy and medicines without success. Now you're thinking about a knee replacement. How do you find the best knee replacement doctor?
At UVA Health, our surgeons earned a "high-performing" rating from U.S. News & World Report for knee replacement surgery. When you come here, you see orthopedic surgeons with dedicated experience.
See the data yourself: View our knee replacement stats.
Knee Replacement Expertise at UVA Health
You can expect an excellent level of care at UVA Health. Our surgeons have the expertise and the commitment to giving you a personalized experience and the best results possible.
You can rely on a level of expertise you can't find everywhere. Our knee replacement surgeons have all had extra, in-depth training in joint surgery.
Our surgical teams perfect their skill and stay fresh by performing a high number of knee replacements every year. That's their main focus.
At UVA Health, we stay at the forefront of surgical advances. We pioneer research into all aspects of the knee, including arthritis, cartilage, and deformity. We're always striving to find new and better treatment options and techniques. Our research into improving patient outcomes has been nationally recognized.
Advanced Tech: Robotics
High-tech robotics can improve the quality and speed of surgery. We also use techniques that limit the cuts. These less-invasive options use custom cutting guides and computer navigation.
Learn more about the benefits of robotic knee replacements.
When It's Time for Knee Replacement
In a knee replacement surgery, the ends of the knee joint are resurfaced with metal and plastic, so they no longer grind. Orthopedic surgeon James Browne, MD, explains when to consider this procedure. View knee replacement transcript.
Should You Get a Knee Replacement?
People get knee replacements to:
- Ease arthritis pain
- Correct a deformity or misalignment
- Improve function
This procedure tends to have a high success rate. Whether you’re a good candidate for a knee replacement depends on a number of factors.
The timing: How long you'll need for recovery and how that will affect your work and family should play a role in your decision.
Your health: Heart issues, diabetes, being overweight, smoking - these risk factors lead to poor outcomes. We can find resources to help you address these issues. But if you're not ready to get healthy, surgery isn't for you.
Knee replacements aren't miracles. If you go into the procedure super stiff and lacking flexibility, you'll still face limitations after. But if you have a good range of motion, you'll probably have good motion after knee replacement.
You can improve your muscles before surgery by doing leg presses, cycling, or elliptical exercise.
Your age: Knee implants can wear out. If you have a knee replacement in your 40s and 50s, you'll probably need to have it replaced. Most people, about 70-80%, can expect their knee implant to last 20 years or more.
Realistic expectations: Knee replacements are not always as good as what nature gives us. Some residual symptoms in a knee replacement are common. You must also be prepared to avoid running and high impact activities after surgery.
Our knee replacement team will have a long, thoughtful discussion with you about your options. In the end, however, if you are deemed to be a candidate for knee replacement, the decision to have surgery or not is yours.
Knee Pain Treatment Options
We always want to try to erase or lessen your knee pain without surgery first. You can try:
- Weight loss
- Physical therapy and regular exercise
- Injections (steroids and hyaluronic acid)
When other methods don't work, a new knee offers a safe, effective route back to an active life.
First, your surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone. Your doctor will then place the artificial joint and cement it within the bone. A drain will allow extra fluid to flow out.
The procedure involves:
- Removing the damaged bone and cartilage on the ends of the bones
- Capping the bones with metal
Replacement can take:
- 2 hours for the operation
- Same day discharge to 3 days in the hospital
- 6-12 weeks before you go back to work
Depending on your health, you can be up and walking in days to a couple of weeks.