The knee is the most commonly replaced joint in the body however, the decision undergo a total knee replacement is not to be taken lightly. This procedure replaces an arthritic knee joint with an artificial metal or plastic replacement, prosthesis. The physician will take x-rays to determine whether the bone is damaged or deformed and an MRI to obtain a more detailed look into the muscles and soft tissues so they can make the most informed decision about whether a total knee replacement is what is best for the patient. Osteoarthritis, which causes severe pain, trouble walking, climbing stairs, and issues getting in and out of chairs, is the leading cause for knee replacement surgery. Prior to making the decision on a total knee replacement, the patient and physician have tried more conservative treatments to relieve the patient’s pain, which have proven ineffective.
After a total knee replacement, it is extremely important to get moving right away to avoid scar tissue settling around the new joint. Within the first 24 hours of the procedure a physical therapist will have you up and walking on your new knee with assistance. A total knee replacement is one of the most successful surgeries available to patients to improve quality of life, ease pain, and improve function. Generally, 90-95% of knee replacements survive 15 years depending on the age and activity level of the patient. Ultimately it is a decision to be made between the patient, physician, and the patient’s family. .
Similarly to a total knee replacement, total ankle replacements are recommended once all conservative treatment options have been unable to relieve the arthritic pain in the ankle. In this procedure, the ends of the damaged bone are removed and replaced with an artificial joint made out of plastic and metal. This artificial joint helps the ankle retain mobility giving a lower risk of arthritis developing in the surrounding joints.
Your medical team will ask you to get up and being moving as soon as possible. You will be in a split and crutches or a walker will be necessary because you will have to keep your weight off of the new ankle for 4-6 weeks. You will begin physical therapy and slowly begin activities while putting weight on the new ankle joint. Full recovery can take up to an entire year and the replacement can last up to 15 years.
Dr. Mahesh Bagwe, a physician at The Orthopedic Center of St. Louis, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon, fellowship-trained in foot and ankle reconstruction. He also serves as a team physician for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dr. Bagwe’s primary area of interest is lower extremity disorders. His specialties include: Foot and Ankle Surgery; Arthroscopic Surgery; Cartilage Repairs; Ankle Joint Replacements; Foot & Ankle Injections; Reconstructive Surgery; General Orthopedic Surgery; Sports Medicine; and Knee Surgery. He has been widely recognized and sought after for his innovative procedures that help patients regain their mobility.
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Dr. Bagwe is an Orthopedic Surgeon in St. Louis, Missouri | As a world class lower extremity specialist Dr. Bagwe treats disorders of the knee, foot and ankle causing acute or chronic pain. With several locations in the St. Louis metro area, we offer provide solutions for Arthritis, Sprains and strains, Bursitis and tendonitis, Fractures, sports related injuries, work related injuries, stress fracture, Cubital tunnel syndrome, Knee ligament tear (ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL), Meniscal (cartilage) tear, Heel spurs, Plantar fasciitis, Shin splints, Hammer toe and other toe disorders, Achilles tendon problems, Bunions, and more.