What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is a procedure that decreases the pain and improves the quality of life. During total joint replacement surgery, the worn-out surfaces of the joint are removed/shaved off and replaced with implants. The femoral(thigh bone) and tibial(leg bone) component is made up of a metal alloy that covers the end of these bones. The insert/spacer that is put between the two metal components serves as a cushion, a smooth gliding surface between the two.
The patella (knee cap) is resurfaced with a special polyethylene.
Knee joint is the most complicated joint of the body. It consists of three components junction of three bones: the patella (knee cap), distal femoral condyles(thigh bone) and the proximal tibial plateau(leg bone). The ends are covered with articular cartilage- an elastic material that allows the knee to move freely. If damaged, the cartilage cannot repair itself.
INDICATIONS OF TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Post traumatic Arthritis
- Gouty arthritis
- Pain in Deformed Knee
Osteoarthritis most commonly referred to as the wear and tear of the joint usually affects the elderly and middle age to elderly people.
In osteoarthritis the cartilage between the joint breaks down.
- Older age
- Previous traumatic joint injury/overuse of joints
- Joint deformity
What are the Symptoms of Osteoarthritis?
- Pain in and around the joint
- Difficulty in squatting and sitting crossed leg
- Difficulty in negotiating stairs
- Deformities of the joint
- Inability to walk for long distances
- Joint swelling
- Decreased movement of the joint
HOW TO DIAGNOSE?
- History and clinical examination
- Standing X rays of the knee joint
- Some patients may knee CT Scan/ MRI
Who are the right candidates for Knee Replacement Surgery?
The surgical treatment becomes an option in severe cases and the medical treatment fails.
Medical Treatment includes:
- Activity modification.
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Joint injections
Surgical Indications are:
- When the medical treatment fails to relieve the pain.
- There is severe deformity of the joint so much so that it affects the daily activities of the patient.
- There is instability of the knee joint.
- There is decreased range of motion of the joint.
How you prepare
An orthopedic surgeon performs knee replacement procedures. Before the procedure, the surgeon takes your medical history and performs a physical examination to assess your knee’s range of motion, stability and strength. X-rays can help determine the extent of knee damage.
Knee replacement surgery requires anesthesia to make you comfortable during surgery. Your input and personal preference help the team decide whether to use general anesthesia, which makes you unconscious, or spinal or epidural anesthesia, which leaves you awake but unable to feel pain from your waist down.
Your doctor or anesthesiologist might advise you to stop taking certain medications and dietary supplements before your surgery. You’ll likely be instructed not to eat anything after midnight before your surgery.
Plan for your recovery
For several weeks after the procedure, you might need to use crutches or a walker. Make arrangements for transportation home from the hospital and help with everyday tasks, such as cooking, bathing and doing laundry. If you live alone, your surgeon’s staff or hospital discharge planner can suggest a temporary caretaker.
To make your home safer and easier to navigate during recovery, consider making the following improvements:
- Create a total living space on one floor since climbing stairs can be difficult.
- Install safety bars or a secure handrail in your shower or bath.
- Secure stairway handrails.
- Get a stable chair with a firm seat cushion and back, and a footstool to elevate your leg.
- Arrange for a toilet-seat riser with arms if you have a low toilet.
- Try a stable bench or chair for your shower.
- Remove loose rugs and cords.
- For most people, knee replacement provides pain relief, improved mobility and a better quality of life. Talk with your doctor about what you can expect from knee replacement surgery.
- Three to six weeks after surgery, you generally can resume most daily activities, such as shopping and light housekeeping. Driving is also possible at around three weeks if you can bend your knee far enough to sit in a car and if you have enough muscle control to operate the brakes and accelerator.
- After you’ve recovered, you can enjoy a variety of low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, golfing or biking. But you should avoid higher impact activities — such as jogging, skiing, tennis and sports that involve contact or jumping. Talk to your doctor about your limitations.
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