Ask An Orthopedist: Total Right Knee Replacement

Calendar May 30, 2017

Question: I tore my Right ACL when I was about 16-17 years old, it was eventually a complete avulsion. 4o+ years later I am now having daily pain, but it usually only induces a limp. I wear an Donjoy aluminum brace whenever I go walking or bike riding. I have a positive drawer sign (the tibial plateau is significantly eroded and the meniscus is almost non-existent on the medial side, bone with arthritic degeneration). I believe I need a total right knee replacement. The left knee had a meniscal tear about 2 years ago, but I have no pain. What do you recommend? Do you do this surgery? What is the time for rehab?

An untreated ACL tear can certainly lead to premature arthritis in a knee, so you may very well be correct in your diagnosis. As to whether or not you need a knee replacement depends on how much discomfort and disability the knee is giving you as well as how much or little the knee has responded to non-surgical care, i.e. bracing, NSAID’s, and even intraarticular injectable medicine. Yes I do knee replacements. Functional recovery takes at least 2-3 months, complete recovery up to a year. I would anticipate your being out of work for at least 2 months. Feel free to call for an evaluation.

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