Rate of Knee Replacement on the Rise

Traditionally, Arizonans are some of the most active people in the Nation. Arizonans crave everything outdoors from hiking to tennis to basketball to running. With all this activity, it is no surprise that the rate of joint pain, shoulder injuries, hand and foot injuries and knee injuries is on the rise.

While some injuries and joint pain can be treated with pain management and anti-inflammatory medications, some injuries, like those to the knees, require knee surgery and knee replacement.

Knee Replacements on the Rise in the U.S.

Believe it or not, more than 600,000 knee replacements surgeries are performed every year in the U.S. to replace worn and arthritic knee joints.  Of course, worn knee joints are sometimes the unfortunate byproduct of an athletic lifestyle.

Basics of Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery involves the removal of the damaged joint surface, which is replaced with a metal and plastic implant.

In a typical knee surgery involving a replacement, the bone and cartilage near the end of the thighbone and near the top of the shinbone are extracted. The surgeon will sculpt surfaces where the bone and cartilage were extracted to form a smooth area to insert the implants. The surgeon will then insert the implants into this formed space. The kneecap surface may also need replacement depending on any damage to the cartilage under the kneecap.


Although a knee surgery can be a complete success, the long-term success of a knee replacement surgery is highly dependent on the patient’s dedication to rehabilitation exercises following the knee surgery.  It is imperative that knee replacement patients engage in active rehabilitation exercises, as soon as possible.

Patients who undergo knee replacement surgery should not attempt rehabilitation alone.  Patients typically exercise with a physical therapist not long after the knee surgery has been performed. In the beginning, rehabilitation will involve an emphasis on establishing motion in the knee replacement so that the patient can begin to walk. The patient needs to, consistently, work on maintaining a range of motion in the knee replacement so that scar tissue does not adversely interfere with the replacement.


Knee replacement implants have been recently modified to ensure an effective knee function that will allow an active individual to return to an active lifestyle without the pain or discomfort associated with the worn joint.

For more information or to get answers to your questions, please contact Specialty Orthopedic Surgery

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