Total Knee Replacement: A Guide for Patients in Achieving Best Outcome

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Dr Kevin Terefenko viewing a total knee replacement x-ray

Dr. Kevin Terefenko, Fellowship Trained Orthopedic Surgeon
Arthritis and Joint Replacement Center of Reading


What Exactly is Total Knee Replacement?

Total knee replacement, also called total knee arthroplasty or TKA, is the all-encompassing term for a procedure that corrects the diseased components of a knee. As we shared in a previous post Best Option of Alleviating Knee Pain For Good? Total Knee Replacement Proven to Dramatically Improve Quality of Life, total knee replacement may be recommended by a fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon when the cartilage cushioning the knee joint has completely eroded due to osteoarthritis, and non-operative treatments no longer relieve pain.

Understanding the Procedure

Given the name of the procedure, it is understandable to think that a surgeon removes the entire knee during surgery. What in fact occurs is a resurfacing of the damaged bone and cartilage at their respective ends within the knee joint. Synthetic components designed to recreate the natural contours of the knee are then surgically implanted atop the resurfaced bone, to replicate the eroded cartilage and produce a nearly frictionless movement between the bones within the joint.

Taking an Active Role in Ensuring Your Best Outcome

When told you may need total knee replacement, there are a few suggested guidelines for “interviewing” a potential surgeon. As with any surgery, it’s best to ask a surgeon how often they perform a particular procedure. In the case of total knee replacement, does the surgeon perform the surgery 10 to 15 times a year, or 200 to 300 times a year? What about complication rates? Will the surgery occur in a hospital with a nationally recognized joint replacement unit and low readmission rate? What will your recovery plan include? Ascertaining a confidence level with your surgeon and care plan before surgery is crucial to your long-term outcome and wellness.

Total Knee Replacement Unique for Every Body

Just as fingerprints are unique to each individual, it’s important to realize that total knee replacement is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Each patient – and knee – has a unique physiology that must be factored into the surgical approach to ensure best outcome.
For this reason, fellowship trained Dr. Kevin Terefenko, of Arthritis and Joint Replacement Center of Reading, often focuses on providing patient-specific custom total knee replacement when appropriate given a patient’s care needs. The multi-faceted approach uses x-ray and MRI imaging to measure a patient’s exact alignment from the hip to the ankle, and determines exactly how the knee should be positioned correctly. This information is utilized to produce surgical instrumentation custom fitted to a patient’s exact anatomy.  Dr. Terefenko explains what is typically involved in total knee replacement in this video:

If you have questions about total knee replacement or would like a consultation with Dr. Kevin Terefenko of Arthritis and Joint Replacement Center of Reading, click here to send an appointment request to our office, or call 610.376.5646.

To your wellness,
Arthritis and Joint Replacement Center of Reading


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Arthritis & Joint Replacement Center of Reading

2758 Century Boulevard, Suite 2
Reading, PA 19610
Phone: 610.376.JOINT • Fax: 610.376.8546

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