Knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty of the knee, can help relieve pain and restore function in critically diseased knee joints. Damaged bone and cartilage are cut out of the femur, tibia, and patella and replaced with an artificial joint (prosthesis) made of metal alloys, high-quality plastics, and polymers.
To determine if knee replacement surgery is right for you, an orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your knee’s range of motion, stability, and strength. X-rays help in specifying the extent of the damage.
Your doctor may choose from a variety of knee replacements and surgical techniques based on your age, weight, activity level, knee size and shape, and general health.
If an accident or disease has left you with limited knee mobility along with consistent pain, your orthopedic doctor might suggest you get knee replacement surgery. While osteoarthritis—a common condition in which the knee’s cartilage begins to break down—is the primary motive for opting for this procedure, it can differ from case to case. Other reasons may include broken bones, torn ligaments, deformities such as bowed legs, or rheumatoid arthritis. So, if you are facing discomfort in your knee, there is no harm to visit an orthopaedic doctor.
There are mainly 4 types of knee replacement surgery, including the following list:
Such a procedure is a suitable option for those who experience severe pain or stiffness that immobilises them or interferes with daily living, or patients who experience moderate yet continuous knee pain that persists even when pressure isn’t being applied to the area.
Just like any other procedure, knee replacement surgeries also carry some risks. Here are some potential complications:
To figure out whether you have an infection, visit your orthopaedic doctor as soon as you observe the following signs:
It’s always best to go into situations as well prepared as you can possibly be, making this stage of research incredibly vital. Before you consider visiting the orthopaedic hospital, here are some realistic expectations for knee replacement surgery for each step of the process.
Before the Procedure – Anaesthesia is required for a knee replacement surgery, making the process of checking your compatibility with it an essential step. Following this, you will be administered an intravenous antibiotic to prevent surgical infections post-surgery. The numbness from the former will wear off soon after the procedure.
During the Procedure – First, your knee will be bent in a position such that all surfaces of the joint are exposed. Following this, an incision of around 15-25 cms will be made as your surgeon cuts away the damaged joint surfaces. Artificial joints will then be added as a replacement and proper functioning of the knee will be tested through bending. Overall, the process will take around two hours.
After the Procedure – Your recovery process and time spent in the orthopaedic hospital will depend on your individual case and needs, and many patients choose to go home the same day. You will be prescribed medication, and encouraged to practice movement to boost blood flow and prevent the possibility of blood clots. This is further aided by blood thinners, a support hose, or compression boots. With the help of breathing exercises, you will gradually also be asked to increase your activity levels under the guidance of a physical therapist.
Knee replacement surgery helps people improve mobility, pain relief, and a better quality of life. And in most cases, the surgery can be expected to last more than 25 years. At around 3-6 weeks post-surgery, you can resume most daily activities such as housekeeping and driving. While all low-impact activities such as swimming, walking, and biking pose no serious risk, you should occult your orthopaedic doctor about anything more strenuous than this.
Now that you know the importance of knee replacement surgery, the various types available, and a detailed overview of the entire process from before surgery to the time of recovery, you are better equipped to find the best solution for you. To better understand your particular case and the way forward, book an appointment at Paras Hospitals to get expert advice from an orthopaedic surgeon.
While you should be able to stop using crutches and resume normal daily activities at around 6 weeks after surgery, it may take up to 3 months for the pain to settle down, and up to a year for swelling to completely disappear.
Yes, a knee replacement surgery is a major operation and thus, is only recommended if other methods of reducing pain have failed.
While there is no best age as such, the most common age bracket is individuals between 50-80 years.
Knee replacement surgeries provide pain relief and increased mobility. Thus, they provide a better life where you’re capable of doing whatever you want, making it worth it for many.
There is a new procedure known as the ‘minimally invasive quadriceps-sparing total knee replacement’ that allows orthopaedic surgeons to insert replacements through a much caller cut, one that doesn’t traumatise the quadriceps muscle.