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Total knee replacement may be an option for patients if nonsurgical treatments are not sufficient in relieving arthritis pain. Total knee replacement can greatly improve knee function and reduce pain, allowing patients to participate in their normal activities with greater ease.
I received fellowship training in adult reconstruction surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and have over 17 years of experience in private practice. I am currently the top joint replacement specialist in all of New York State and have had the lowest complication rates in New York for the past 3 years. Always seeking to improve the recovery process and outcomes for my patients, I’ve also pioneered the Therapy-Free recovery plan for total knee replacement patients, an innovative approach for a procedure that often has a very difficult and painful recovery process.
Total Knee Replacement Candidates
Candidates for total knee replacement typically have severe knee pain and stiffness that limits their mobility, making even simple activities like walking and climbing stairs difficult. Some patients even have severe pain while at rest, and knee deformity may be present over time with wear on the joint.
In the majority of cases, patients will undergo an extensive course of nonsurgical treatments before knee replacement surgery is recommended. These treatments may include anti-inflammatory medications, injections, physical therapy, and cryoablation. If these treatments do not relieve a patient’s pain, then knee replacement surgery may be considered as an option.
I employ a total knee replacement technique and approach that works for all of my patients. To achieve the best outcomes, I require patients to adhere to specific health guidelines.
Total Knee Replacement Procedure
Total knee replacement involves removing damaged cartilage and bone from the knee and placing implants designed to improve the function and alignment of the knee.
There are different methods and approaches orthopedic surgeons may use for total knee replacement. I have used computer navigation for total knee replacements since 2004 and am one of the country’s top specialists in computer navigated joint replacement.
I am also among a small number of elite surgeons in the United States who do tourniquet-free knee replacements.
A tourniquet is a tight band that stops blood flow during surgery, but it can also increase the risk of blood clots and lead to a more difficult recovery. Tourniquet-free knee replacements have the following benefits:
- The risk of blood clots is lowered by 19%.
- Lower infection risk.
- There is no bruising of the quadriceps in the postoperative period.
- Quadriceps function returns more quickly.
- Patients have less pain after surgery.
- Incision healing is improved.
- Muscle injury is reduced.
From start to finish, I typically complete a total knee replacement in under an hour. I strive to reduce the time patients spend in surgery as much as possible, as data suggests that procedures lasting more than 90 minutes have a higher risk of infection. Having a dedicated joint replacement team is also critical to prevent complications after surgery.
In the majority cases, total knee replacement can be done on an outpatient basis. Approximately 65% of my patients are able to return home the day of surgery, and 99% of patients are able to return home by the following day.
Total Knee Replacement Recovery
Recovering from a total knee replacement is typically more difficult than recovering from a total hip replacement. I have developed the Therapy Free Total Knee recovery plan that allows patients to return to normal function sooner and with less pain.
With the Therapy Free Total Knee program, 85% of patients do not need formal physical therapy services after surgery. Benefits of this program include:
- Cost savings for the patient
- Reduced risk of blood clots
- Quicker return to work
- Decreased pain and the need for narcotics
- 35% of Dr. Wickline’s patients use no narcotics after surgery.
- 75% of patients use just 5 or fewer narcotic pain pills.
- 85% of patients use 10 or fewer pain pills.
As with more traditional rehab plans for total knee replacement, it is important to adhere to the plan recommended by me to achieve the best possible results. On average, patients reach range of motion milestones for the knee 7-9 weeks sooner than traditional rehab methods. This allow patients to return to work and normal activities sooner.
Total Knee Replacement in Upstate New York
Dr. Wickline has over 17 years of experience in knee replacement surgery and has pioneered techniques to make the recovery process much easier on patients. He is currently the top joint replacement specialist in the entire state of New York and also has the lowest complication rates in the state. If you would like a consultation for total knee replacement with Dr. Wickline, please call his office at (315) 738-5069 or request an appointment online.