Knee arthroplasty is also known as a total knee replacement. Dr Marais may recommend the procedure for patients suffering from severely damaged cartilage and painful symptoms caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and post-traumatic arthritis.
During the procedure, Dr Marais will prepare the bone by removing the damaged cartilage from the surface of the femur and tibia. He will then replace the damaged cartilage with metal implants which are cemented into bone. The implant of the femur is a metal implant. The implant of the tibia is a metal implant with a high density polyethylene surface attached to the top part of the implant. Implants are cemented into the bone. These artificial implants work by recreating the surface of the bone. In some cases the surface of the kneecap is also resurfaced with artificial materials.
Before undergoing total knee arthroplasty, Dr Marais will perform a physical examination as well as X-rays to ensure if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
Prior to surgery you will be screened for medical diseases, as well as for potential micro-organisms that you may be hosting. This is done by using certain laboratory tests as well as a consultation by a specialist physician. All this is done in order to decrease your post-operative risks. You will start with medication a day or two before surgery to prevent blood clots and unnecessary postoperative pain.
You will be admitted on the day of surgery.
Immediately after surgery you will be transferred to an appropriate ward to do postoperative observations. You can start to mobilise on the day of surgery and you should be discharged after about 3 - 4 days postsurgery.
After the surgery, Dr Marais will advise you on the best rehabilitation plan, which may include physical therapy, and some lifestyle changes.