Total Knee Replacement
Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure where the worn out surfaces
of the knee are resurfaced with metal and plastic components. Over time,
the cartilage that cushions the bones can wear away, cause pain and discomfort,
and make simple pleasures like walking and shopping unbearable.
Knee replacement can reduce or eliminate pain, allow easier movement and
get you back to normal life. Choosing the right facility is equally important.
Alvarado is the only hospital in California to be recognized among
America's 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery four years in a row (2014-2017) by Healthgrades.
Who is a candidate?
Knee replacement surgery may be considered for those suffering from arthritic
knee pain that severely limits the activities of daily living. It is only
recommended after careful examination and diagnosis of your particular
joint problem, and only after more conservative measures, such as exercise,
physical therapy and medications have proven ineffective.
For more information on robotics-assisted total knee replacement,
What kind of knee implant is best?
There are many kinds and designs of knee implants available today, and
no one design or type is best for every patient. Surgeons select the implant
they believe is best for their patient’s needs based on a number
of factors including age, activity level, the implant’s track record,
and his or her comfort with the instruments associated with the particular implant.
How long will I be in the hospital?
With improvements in surgical techniques and post-op care, it is now common
for many patients to be able to go home from the hospital after two or
three days. If you have both knees replaced at the same time, the stay
can be a day or two longer. Of course, each patient is different, but
the goal should be for you to recover in the comfort and privacy of your
own home as soon as possible.
How successful is knee replacement?
Total knee replacement is recognized as one of the most successful procedures
in all of medicine. In the United States, over 600,000 knee replacements
are performed each year, according to the
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. According to a recent study, most patients opting for a total knee replacement
found improvement in pain, functional status and an overall quality of life (
Hamilton D, Henderson GR, Gaston P, et al. Comparative outcomes of total
hip and knee arthroplasty: a prospective cohort study. Postgrad Med J
What are the risks?
Even though knee replacement surgery is considered a successful procedure,
it is major surgery, and as with any surgery, there are risks. Your surgeon
and healthcare team will take great care to minimize the risk of complications.
Keep in mind that complications are relatively rare, but they need to
be understood by you and your family. Your surgeon will be happy to answer
any questions. For more information,
Is it painful?
You will experience some discomfort after surgery, but be assured we will
do everything we can to keep you as comfortable as possible. Pain after
surgery varies from person to person and is not entirely predictable.
However, modern medications and improved anesthetic techniques greatly
enhance our ability to control pain and discomfort after surgery.
Will I need a blood transfusion?
Your surgical team will do everything possible to minimize bleeding, but
some blood loss after joint replacement is unavoidable. Whether or not
a blood transfusion is required will depend greatly on highly-individualized
factors, including your condition prior to surgery, cardiac history, age,
etc. Be sure to discuss these issues with your surgeon.
Why choose the Advanced Spine & Joint Institute at Alvarado Hospital?
Alvarado Hospital's new spine and joint program features the region's
best surgeons and a brand-new patient unit with a healing design to enhance
recovery, which reflects San Diego's beautiful landscapes and landmarks.
Also, there are no hospital gowns for these patients! You wear comfortable
clothes from home. Take a
online video tour of our unit, which reflects San Diego's beautiful landscapes and landmarks.
Learn how our program utilizes a vareity of strategies to achieve superior
outcomes and long-term patient satisfaction.
Click here to learn more.
Patients also can take comfort in the fact that Alvarado Hospital is nationally
recognized for safety, clinical excellence and orthopedic surgery by
Alvarado's Physician Referral Service can help you find an orthopedic
specialist who meets your needs. To find an orthopedist affiliated with
our program,click here or call (800) ALVARADO (800-258-2723). Our nurse navigator can also help
you with information by calling (619) 229-4548 or by
e-mail. Do not include personal health information in your e-mail.
Alvarado Advantage Club
Join the Advantage Club, which is free, and take advantage of a variety
of perks, including priority parking, newspaper delivery with breakfast
if hospitalized, member welcome gift, hotel discounts and much more! To