The art of knee surgery has evolved over time from large incisions to newer minimally invasive techniques. Dr Beicker has been specially trained on newer, less-invasive techniques to care for your knee. From small incision arthroscopy to total knee replacement, Dr Beicker is ready to help you regain your function and relieve your knee pain. Read below for more information.
Arthroscopy is the ability to see inside a joint with a small camera using small incisions around the joint.
Patients of all ages can develop knee pain. This pain can develop from an acute injury or from wear-and-tear on the joing. Both of these problems can potentially be treated with knee arthroscopy. Not all patients with knee pain require surgical intervention but if appropriate, Dr Beicker is able to perform knee arthroscopy in order to repair what is damaged. Whether it be a torn ACL, damaged cartilage or meniscus, dislocating patella, or any other type of knee problem, Dr Beicker is able to fix these usually through small incisions around the knee. This minimally invasive approach to dealing with these problems allows the patient to recover quicker and may result in improved overall outcome and satisfaction.
Total Knee Arthroplasty (Replacement)
Total knee replacement is usually the treatment of choice for patients with end-stage knee arthritis. When the cartilage throughout the knee has worn out and symptoms cannot be controlled with non-operative treatments, then Dr Beicker may reccommend Total Knee Replacement. Total knee replacement involves "resurfacing" the ends of the bones around your knee joint. The title "Total Knee Replacement" is somewhat of a misnomer in that the knee is not completely replaced by a new knee joint, but more of a "resurfacing" of the ends of the bones to cover up the damaged cartilage and nerves which contribute to knee pain. In this technique, the cartilage is removed from the knee and metal implants are secured to the bone to protect the nerves which reside within the bone. In addition, a polyethylene surface is placed between the metal components to account for the cartilage that was removed. This procedure takes about an hour to perform. Patients will usually walk on the knee post-operatively on the same day as surgery. Most patients experience immediate relief of arthritis pain after this procedure. The acute surgical pain is treated with multimodal techniques involving long-acting anesthetic blocks, oral pain control medication (both narcotic and non-narcotic), and local modalities (ice, compression, etc.). With the increased use of long-acting anesthetic blocks, patients now use significantly less narcotic medication and are able to go home sooner than ever before. Overall, total knee replacement is an extremely successful surgery and can result in significant improvement in pain and function.
Preparing for Total Knee Arthroplasty (Replacement)
What plans should I make before surgery?
There’s a lot to plan for before your surgery, but by being prepared you can help your recovery go much more smoothly — so you can get back to the moments that matter.
Make caregiver arrangements: For the first 1-3 weeks after surgery, you’ll need someone with you for most of the day to help with everything from preparing meals to getting in and out of the bath.
Learn as much as you can: Get educated about knee replacement surgery from your doctor or a community health education class.
Schedule dental work: If you need dental work, even just a cleaning, have it done before your surgery to reduce the risk of infection in your joint.
Get your medical clearance: If your surgeon has asked you to get a medical clearance, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for a preoperative history and physical exam. Our staff will guide you with this process.
Reduce risk factors: Quit smoking, taking herbal remedies, and other things your surgeon recommends. If you have diabetes, a low blood sugar level, or A1c, is very important to reduce your risk of infection or other complications. In some cases, your sugery may be delayed in order to improve this risk.
Take time off: If you’re employed, take time off for your surgery and recovery.