What is Knee Joint Replacement?
This is also called Total knee Arthroplasty, which is an option when the knee joint pain deters performing the daily activities and other treatments don’t bring relief.
Usually in a Knee Replacement surgery, the doctor removes the damaged bone and cartilage of the knee joint and replaces them with parts constructed from metal, hard plastic or polymers. This prosthesis will help reduce pain and improve functionality.
When is it needed?
The knee problems that bring about the need for knee replacement surgery are:
- Osteoarthritis: wear and tear leads to softening and wearing away of the cartilage that cushions the knee bones.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: the synovial membrane surrounding the joint inflames and thickens, damaging the cartilage causing cartilage loss, pain and stiffness.
- Post-Traumatic Arthritis: This follows a serious knee injury where the bones surrounding the knee fractures or torn knee ligaments might damage the articular cartilage over time. Knee pain and limited knee function ensues.
The need for knee surgery arises when:
- Severe pain limits the daily routine like walking, climbing stairs, sitting and getting up from chairs.
- Pain while resting or sleeping at night.
- Knee deforms with a bowing in or out.
- When other knee joint paint treatments, medications and physical therapy don’t bring relief.
- Knee joint surgery preparation by taking blood tests, ECG, MRI or X-ray and a physical examination of the knee is done.
- Inform the doctor of the medications and supplements, patient presently takes.
- Major dental procedures and urinary evaluations, if needed, have to be done, prior to this surgery.
- Refrain from eating and drinking 6-12 hours prior to procedure.
- Prepare your home for adjustments to post-surgery life, as per doctor’s recommendations.
- Patient will be given anaesthetic before the total knee replacement surgery, which might be:
- Regional: Numbs the region below the waist.
- General: Puts patient to sleep
- Knee is bent to expose all surfaces of the joint.
- Surgeon will begin by making incisions of about 6-10 inches long.
- Kneecap is moved aside and damaged joint surfaces are removed.
- The artificial joint is then attached and knee is tested by bending and balanced and then incision is closed.
- The patient usually takes a couple of days to recover.
- The doctors will take the required measures to control any blood-clotting situation, pain and swelling.
- The physiotherapist will provide training to the patient and the caretakers on how to handle things.
- Doctor will need to see you at a follow-up appointment after a few days.
- You might have to follow an exercise regimen, as instructed by the doctor or physical therapist.