Another name for knee replacement is arthroplasty. This is a surgical procedure and is used for a variety of purposes, including replacement of the entire knee joint with an artificial joint. Knee replacement can be total, or partial, or used to repair damage to the joint from diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis. Artificial knee joints are either made of plastic or metal pieces that act as caps over the end of the bones and as a kneecap.
People who have degenerative arthritis often have knee replacement surgery, as do people who have had a severe injury to the knee such as athletes. In some cases, total knee or partial knee replacement might be performed on someone who has been in a severe car accident or another traumatic event.
Because we all mend differently, the recovery time for knee replacement varies. Most patients need the use of a walker for the first two to four weeks following surgery. From there, and with therapy, you progress to using a cane. The goal is to recover to the point where you need no assistance when walking at all. Most people stay in the hospital for up to three days following a total joint replacement surgery. You may stay longer if you are not recovering well, have complications from the surgery, or complications from the anesthetics. If you have cardiac issues, you may stay as long as two weeks.
Yes. You can have a knee replacement if you have diabetes. The final decision rests with your primary care doctor who will look at how well your diabetes is managed. Surgery may be postponed until your diabetes is under control.