Dr. Bryan Emmerson is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon at Sansum Clinic who specializes in total and partial knee replacement and hip replacement. Dr. Emmerson practices in our Orthopedics Department at 215 Pesetas Lane, (805) 681-7584.
Arthritis of the knee can be a progressively debilitating ailment. It may begin with pain during such simple activities as walking or climbing stairs. As it progresses, walking tolerance can decrease and even putting on shoes and socks can become increasingly difficult.
Treatment typically begins with non-operative therapies such as weight loss, oral anti-inflammatory medications, walking aids or joint injections.
If these prove ineffective at controlling pain and restoring mobility, joint replacement surgery may be an option. When indicated, knee replacement can relieve pain, help you to resume prior activities, and correct leg deformities. Over time, improvements in surgical materials and techniques have greatly increased the effectiveness and longevity of implants. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 500,000 knee replacements will be performed this year in the United States.
The most common indication for knee replacement is osteoarthritis. Other indications can include rheumatoid arthritis or post-traumatic arthritis. In most cases, a total knee replacement is performed. In select patients, however, a partial knee replacement may be indicated for isolated disease.
Initially the orthopedic surgeon will obtain a detailed medical history, physical examination, and x-rays to determine if knee replacement is indicated. Preoperative lab tests are then performed to maximize patient safety during the procedure.
After joint replacement, physical therapy will increase range of motion and improve mobility. Each patient is provided with pain medication, as well medications and techniques to help prevent blood clots.
The goals of joint replacement are to relieve pain, improve function, and restore quality of life. Although surgery is not without risk, knee replacement can be a safe and effective procedure that can greatly benefit patients with knee arthritis.