Who Is a Cutting Edge, Experienced Knee Surgeon in Tampa, FL?
While surgery can be a scary and stressful prospective, know that you have another option outside of a traditional, inpatient knee replacement surgery. At Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America (OJRCA) in Tampa, FL, our center offers minimally invasive partial and total knee replacement surgeries as outpatients to medically stable patients of virtually all ages. Our skilled team is led by Philip “Flip” Clifford, AAHKS, AAOS, a board-certified hip and knee fellowship trained, orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Clifford has spent years refining and advancing ultra-minimally invasive surgical techniques and designing unique pain protocols that significantly reduce post-op pain and nearly eliminate the need for any narcotic medications.
Degenerative arthritis in adults ages 45-65 is the most common reason for total knee replacement surgery. However, young and active adults may experience knee injuries that cause cartilage defects and require a partial or even full knee replacement surgery. Up until recently, knee replacement surgery was the number one reason for hospital admission in the US. With the right surgical team and the right treatment protocol, it can be done safely as an outpatient, with better results, and fewer complications.
Keep reading to learn more about surgical options for a knee replacement.
It’s Time to Consider Knee Surgery When…..
If you have arthritis in one or both knees, surgery is usually the last resort after trying other treatment options. While joint degeneration is not irreversible, there are measures you can take to slow the progression of the disease, preserve joint function and mobility, and decrease your pain levels. Conservative treatments include numerous options.
Anti-inflammatory medications can relieve pain during flare-ups early in the disease progression.
Injections may become necessary when medications fail to control pain. These can include corticosteroid, hyaluronic acid, and even amniotic fluid injections.
Physical therapy and a regular exercise routine can help with weight management and also helps maintain strength in preparation for eventual surgery.
With these conservative treatments, it can be possible for you to continue being active and for you to enjoy your favorite activities for years to come.
Unfortunately, there may come a time when the cartilage and structures in your knee joint have degenerated to the point where conservative treatments are no longer effective. Surgery may be the next step if you’re experiencing:
- Severe knee pain that makes it difficult to walk, climb stairs, stand up or perform other daily movements
- Pain that interferes with sleep
- A loss of mobility and range of motion in the knee
- A feeling of instability or giving out of the knee while walking
- Falls, due to knee instability
- Depression, anxiety or social isolation, due to pain and a decreased quality of life
If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, or you have imaging exams that reveal significant joint damage and deterioration, call OJRCA for a consultation with our team.
Partial Vs. Complete Knee Replacement Surgery
The severity of arthritis and amount of joint damage in your knee will determine, in part, whether you will undergo a partial or a total knee replacement surgery. How does your surgeon decide which procedure is most appropriate for your condition? The knee joint is made up of 3 main compartments: the medial compartment (inside of the knee), the lateral compartment (outside of the knee), and the patellofemoral compartment (front of the knee underneath the kneecap). A partial replacement surgery is appropriate if you only have joint damage to a single compartment, and you still have stable ligaments and relatively good range of motion in the knee. A total replacement is necessary if you have joint damage and degeneration to two or more compartments, if your supporting ligaments are unstable, or if the alignment of the knee has migrated from its normal position.
At OJRCA, we are extremely selective about recommending partial knee replacements. We want to provide you with the safest, fastest and least invasive surgery option possible. But, partial knee replacements do not perform well when patients have significant arthritis in other compartments of the knee. Residual pain and progression of moderate arthritis in other compartments to more severe arthritis can quickly lead to a second surgery to convert the partial to a total. Selecting the best candidates for partial knee replacements is something Dr. Clifford has done for over two decades. We want to do the right surgery the first time and avoid repeat surgery if at all possible.
What to Expect at OJRCA
At Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America, we take a modern and innovative approach to partial and total knee replacement surgeries. In our years spent performing joint replacement surgeries, we’ve found that 80-90% of cases can be performed safely and effectively as minimally invasive outpatient procedures. By now, the benefits of minimally invasive surgical techniques are well-documented. These procedures require much smaller incisions, spare muscles and tendons, and reduce the risk of infections and complications, and can lead to faster recovery.
Before, during, and after your surgery, you’ll be administered our uniquely designed mixture of medications that we call a pain management “cocktail”. We use local anesthetic blocks that help prevent transmission of pain signals for up to 2-3 days following surgery. You’ll feel less discomfort after surgery, which can significantly reduce or eliminate your need for narcotic medications to manage post-op pain.
The incision for your knee surgery is kept as small as possible. This can speed healing and diminish the trauma of surgery, but the size of the incision must allow for accurate placement of the implants. Muscles and tendons are moved out of the way to access the joint. We then “resurface” the damaged cartilage and bone and replace them with metal caps. And a “new cartilage” plastic bearing fits between those metal surfaces. The procedure will only remove damaged areas of the joint. While maintaining ligaments and cartilage that are still strong and stable. The implants are durable enough to support a full functional range of motion and free movement in the knee following surgery. As long as the patient is committed to push themselves in physical therapy. After surgery, knees don’t just bend themselves. Therapy is by far the most important part of improvement and recovery after surgery.
After your procedure, we want to get you up and walking within 2 hours. Early movement reduces the risk of blood clots and painful joint stiffness that could impede your recovery. After you’ve walked with us, you can go home, usually with no precautions or activity restrictions. We recommend initial use of a walker or cane for most patients, just for your safety. In fact, we encourage you to walk and remain as active as you can during your rehabilitation period (without overdoing it, of course!). A day or two after surgery, you’ll start outpatient physical therapy at a clinic near your home.
Many of our patients return to their jobs and normal activities within a few weeks. Knee replacement surgery is highly effective for relieving pain and restoring mobility that has been lost due to joint damage and degeneration.
The success or survivorship of knee replacement 15 years after surgery can exceed 92-94%. This means that more than 9 out of 10 knees will last well beyond 15 years, allowing patients to enjoy a higher quality of life.
Call OJRCA to Learn About Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery
If knee pain from arthritis is keeping you from being active and enjoying the quality of life that you deserve, it may be time to consider outpatient joint replacement surgery. At Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America, we’re committed to helping you reclaim your health and former activity levels. Please call us at 813-492-4758 or reach out online to schedule an appointment at our Tampa, FL, clinic.