About Knee Replacement
Knee replacement or knee arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to treat patients who have their knee or knees damaged by an injury or any knee related diseases. When the cartilage that covers your thigh and shin bone is damaged, it becomes painful and hard to move because instead of sliding over each other, the bones rub and crush together which causes pain. The procedure helps with the pain caused and restore functions in the joint.
The surgery is done by replacing the damaged knee joint with an artificial joint made from metal, plastic or polymer so that the knee can flex and bend more freely and painlessly. The surgery can take upto 1.5 - 2 hours and recovery time is for 3- 6 weeks approximately.
Signs and symptoms- Why should you opt for Knee Replacement?
The most common reason for knee replacement is severe osteoarthritis of the knees. There a few other signs that indicate that a person may need a knee replacement-
- If the pain in your knee persists or recurs every time.
- If you have any difficulty in performing everyday tasks like walking, going up and down the stairs, sitting in a chair or getting in and out of a car.
- Knee inflammation or knee swelling that does not improve with the medications.
- Incase you faced any knee related injury that damaged your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
Top doctors for knee replacement surgery
Types of Knee Replacement surgeries
There are different kinds of knee replacement and different surgical methods. Your Orthopaedic surgeon will help you to choose the best option for you, taking into consideration your general health and condition of your knee.
The 4 types of knee replacement surgery are-
1. Total knee replacement- The most common type of knee replacement (TKR), which involves replacing the surface of your thigh bone and shin bone that connects to the knee with an artificial implant that fits your anatomy.
2. Partial knee replacement- As the name suggests, it involves replacing only the part of the knee that is damaged by disease.
3. Kneecap replacement- The procedure involves only replacing the under surface of the kneecap. Doctors suggest TKR more as compared to kneecap replacement as TKR has a higher success rate.
4. Complex knee replacement- Or the revision knee replacement is done if you have already had a knee replacement surgery on the same knee before.
Before the Procedure
Have a discussion with your doctor, learn about the procedure like what to expect during and after the surgery. There are a few questions that you can ask before going for the same.
· What type of knee replacement surgery is best for you.
· The type of implant that will be used.
· The things that you can do before the surgery like diet, exercise.
· Discuss the risks of the surgery with your doctor or the possible outcomes.
· If the insurance covers all the cost of just some.
· The recovery time, medications and the hospital stay.
After the procedure
The recovery period after the surgery is very important so there are a few things that you can do to insure your safety and comfort. Here are some things that can help you after the procedure is done-
· Follow your physical therapist instructions. Physical therapy helps the patient to recover faster and have better outcomes.
· Take care of the wound. With the help of your doctor, understand how and when to change your bandage to avoid postoperative infection.
· Use of walker/crane or other medical equipment that helps recovery.
· Healthy diet and regular exercise.
· Prepare or make adjustments in your home ahead of time for your arrival after the surgery to ensure comfort and easy recovery.