I mentioned that my wife had a complete replacement of her right knee. In the featured image you can see her knees before the operation. There is no cartilage left between the bones. I have circled in red spots where the femur is actually grinding away the top of the tibia. This ongoing unnatural pressure was making her bow-legged.
Front and side view of new knee. In the front view, you can see the row of staples that have not yet been removed.
Here is her new right knee. There’s a very clear gap between the femur and the tibia. It is filled with some kind of fancy plastic that fills the function of cartilage You can see where they literally cut off and ground down the old bone ends and glued in a new metallic replacement for the ends of those bones as well as the back of her knee cap.
This particular doctor has done over 300 knees at Kaiser. He said one should not use doctors with few knee replacements under their belts. Experience counts.
Two weeks after surgery and she is able to walk unsupported around the house, though she still often uses her walker for security. (She has me to fetch and carry, so no problems there.) By four weeks they want her to be able to bend her knees enough to pick up something from the floor. By 8 weeks they want her to be able to go shopping. And by 12 weeks her disability will be done.
Then there will be the other knee, only this time she’ll know exactly what to expect and how quickly. The psychological burden will be much less.
She has her staples out now. Not quite painless but mostly so. It will leave a nasty scar but compared to that, being able to walk properly again is priceless.