The knees lose flexibility over occur as a consequence of old age or injuries. As a result of the associated inflammation and discomfort, people find it difficult to bend their knees. When the cartilage between the two knees wears out, movement is more reduced and discomfort increases.
People's ability to walk is hampered by the poor state of their knee joint and underlying cartilage, which impedes their success in everyday activities. If it is done to correct the situation, it can just intensify, getting more stressful and complicated.
In such cases, surgery is sometimes recommended as the first line of treatment, usually after medications and physiotherapy have failed to provide pain relief. It is estimated that the treatment benefits more than 90% of the patients.
Mechanical replacements are used to repair knee joints that have been weakened due to injuries or osteoarthritis during knee reconstruction. Depending on the state of the knee, the doctors can decide to do a complete knee replacement or a partial knee replacement.
Patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis often have a slew of concerns, especially on whether or not they can have a knee replacement or whether there is another option for care. Some of the most important questions that patients who have been referred to have knee replacement surgery have are listed below.
Is total knee replacement the only solution to get relief from osteoarthritis pain?
No, total knee replacement is not the best way to provide pain relief. However, total knee replacement accounts for 90% of all knee-related surgery. Other treatments include partial knee replacement, minimally invasive knee replacement, physical therapy, and pain management with medications and ointments.
In the case of partial knee replacement, the surgeon simply removes the injured portion of the knee and replaces it with artificial implants. The remainder of the knee is left in its normal position. It necessitates smaller incisions and has a short recovery time.
However, only a few specialised surgeons practise this minimally invasive kind of procedure. Furthermore, there is a chance that the osteoarthritis will return in the part of the knee that the doctors left in its natural state. This will necessitate further surgical intervention in the future.
A minimally invasive type of total knee replacement, on the other hand, is a newer procedure that helps surgeons to repair knees without creating a wider incision. It results in less tissue injury, less scarring, and a faster recovery time. The long-term benefits of this strategy, however, are still being investigated.
At the primary stage, people with osteoarthritis are often administered drugs, physical therapy, and workouts. Knee replacement is recommended only when these procedures do not provide relief or when mobility is severely limited due to extreme pain and inflammation.
What are the complications associated with the procedure?
Knee replacement surgery is regarded as a risk-free treatment. Complications following knee reconstruction affect only a small percentage of patients. Infections after surgery are one of the most frequent surgical complications. However, it has only affected 2% of patients so far.
Blood clots, injury to the blood vessels and underlying skin, chronic discomfort, and failure of the implant or a defect in it are all possible complications.
How much time does it take to recover?
Despite hospitals and surgeons' claims that an osteoarthritis patient may walk normally within a week after surgery, it can take several weeks for patients to heal.
Patients are recommended to perform a mix of physical and occupational therapy at the hospital just after complete knee replacement. After the patient is released from the hospital, the therapy may proceed for many days. A complete knee replacement patient is typically expected to remain in the hospital for three to five days after surgery.
When patients leave the hospital, they begin to walk or stand, either with or without the assistance of a walker. After the surgery, diagnosis and regeneration will last at least two months. Along with occupational and physical therapy, a series of workouts to be done at home is often prescribed for rapid rehabilitation.
At the end of eight weeks, the patients should be able to rise and walk normally without assistance and continue doing household chores. However, in some patients, recovery can be gradual. Patients are also instructed to avoid squatting and full knee flexion.
What exactly happens during knee replacement surgery?
During knee replacement surgery, the surgeon places a rubber casing around the shin bone and a metal casing around the thigh bone. Any of which takes place when under the effects of general anaesthesia. The stretched out, uneven surface of the knee bone is then replaced by a prosthetic implant.
Plastic has also been used to replace the surface under the kneecap. This is intended to ensure that the joints function more smoothly following surgery and to alleviate discomfort. The operation entails the replacement of some existing cartilage and bone.
To connect the artificial parts or implants to the shin bone, thigh bone, and knee cap, cement or another substance is used. Following installation, the artificial pieces shape joints that rely on the surrounding ligaments and muscles for reinforcement and proper operation.
Am I eligible for knee replacement?
If you are over the age of 50 and have serious knee inflammation, you might be a candidate for knee replacement surgery. The symptoms should be so extreme and debilitating that you are unable to stand or walk properly, or that your everyday routines are hampered.
Patients with broken knees from an injury, no distance between the knees, and extremely limited mobility are ideal candidates for this form of surgery.
Is it a safe procedure
Knee replacement surgery has been available for more than four decades. It is a successful operation, but it does have complications, much as any other surgery. Aside from blood clots, inflammation, and leakage, there are a few things that the surgeon can keep in mind when doing the operation.
All these complications during knee replacement may result in longer hospital stay and recovery time. The patient may even lose his or her life if proper care is not taken to limit the infection and bleeding or to stop the formation and circulation of blood clots.
What happens after knee joint replacement?
Following knee reconstruction, you will be required to attend occupational and physical therapy. Furthermore, you can stop rotating or pivoting the affected leg for at least six weeks. Kneeling and squatting can also be stopped, and when laying down in bed, try to keep the leg as straight as possible.
To limit the amount of time it takes to heal from a knee replacement, you can obey all of the instructions. Remember that failing to follow any of the prescribed recommendations can lengthen your recovery period and even result in joint dislocation.
During the healing time, you must also refrain from stair climbing, pet activity, and slips. Before returning to regular everyday behaviours such as sexual intercourse, walking, running, and going to the gym, the doctor must be contacted.
How long does the new joint last?
Knee replacement surgery first became popular in the 1970s. At the moment, the average year of the replacement joint was thought to be about ten years.
However, as medical technology progresses, artificial joints with varying average lifespans are now available. More than 80 percent of the joints replaced nowadays have a lifespan of more than 20 years. This is due to advancements in the artificial joint material and the material used to connect them to the bones.
The cost of knee replacement surgery is determined by the life of the implant, the length of stay in the hospital, the doctor's costs, the nation, and the type of hospital you want.