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Donald D. Berg, M.D. P.C.
Orthopedic and Reconstructive Surgery
 Sports Medicine
The Practice of Orthopedics

Serving Southeast Iowa Since 1975

Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Total knee replacement surgery involves replacing a severely damaged joint with metal and plastic implants (prosthesis). There are three parts to knee prosthesis which are much like those in the natural knee: the femoral component which is placed on the top of the shin bone; and the patella component which is implanted to the back of the knee cap.

Prostheses are designed by many different manufactures. Because prosthesis components come in a variety of sizes, the doctor can ensure each patient the best possible fit. Prostheses are made of cobalt chromium alloy and polyethylene plastic, long lasting materials designed to work inside the body without being rejected.

Dr. Berg affixes the prosthesis by methyl methacrylate (bone cement).

Depending on the patient and method used to affix the prosthesis, rehabilitation takes two to six months.

Surgery involves three stages for the patient:




The pre-operative stage begins several weeks before surgery. The orthopedic physician assistant will be in contact with you to assist with the coordination of the surgery. This includes the evaluation of the patient's overall medical condition. This includes a review of the patient's medical history, a detailed physical examination, x-rays of the knee.

The operative stage of surgery lasts approximately one to two hours. From there the patient goes to the recovery room for one hour, close observation, the doctor sends the patient to Telemetry or the Intensive Care Unit.

CPM Machine

When you arrive back to your hospital room you will be place in a Continuous Passive Motion machine (CPM machine). The CPM machine slowly bends the knee through its range of motion. This small movement helps prevent swelling, stiffness and blood clots in the leg.

The Post-operative stage begins the evening after surgery. The patient works on an exercise program twice a day with a physical therapist, until able to go to the physical therapy department. Before leaving the hospital, the patient should be able to:

  • Get up and down from a chair; get into and out of bed without help.
  • Walk with a walker or crutches on level surfaces and stairs alone.
  • Perform the knee exercise program independently.
  • Bend knee to 100 degrees flexion.

Most total knee replacement patients stay in the hospital 4 days. Those requiring more time to recover, stay in skilled care facility or home healthcare, where they progress toward independent walking and mastery of daily skills.

The development of the knee prosthesis for total joint replacement has transformed the lives of thousands of patients previously disabled by severe arthritis in this joint.

Running, jumping, kneeling or heavy lifting should not be expected after surgery, but the successful total joint replacement patient can expect to walk well again without pain and return to doing most everyday activities.



Last Updated June 21, 2010

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