Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery, as the name suggests is a kind of a medical procedure which involves replacement of the knee joint to ease pain and promote movement. This surgical process is suggested to those who are experiencing progressive pain and impaired function of the knee joint. In this surgery, the damaged or diseased knee joint is replaced with an artificial material joint.
This surgery is also known as knee arthroplasty and is becoming a commonly opted for surgical process these days and is usually recommended for those suffering from osteoporosis. Pain and stiffness in the knee can be greatly reduced and thus movement too is made possible. However one must understand the details of the process, its post effects and possible risks involved before opting for it. The following part of the article shall explain further details about knee replacement surgery.
Symptoms which suggest that you need knee replacement surgery:
Knee replacement surgery is recommended for those who have damaged knees either due to some accident or trauma or due to osteoporosis.
If you experience pain, discomfort and stiffness in knees while walking, standing, running and otherwise, then you must get your knees checked. These are the common indications of the requirement of this surgery, especially if the pain doesn’t subside.
Pre procedure and preparation
The following are some things that you can expect before the actual surgical procedure for knee replacement:
- The joints lying next to the knee are properly checked to ensure
optimal results after the procedure.
- All the medications that the patient might be on are carefully
evaluated and reviewed. If a patient is on blood thinning medications
or medications for inflammation then these might be discontinued
before the surgery.
- Common body and blood tests are also done to ensure proper health.
- If someone weighs more than 200 pounds prior to the surgery, then
he/she is asked to reduce weight in order to make the surgery a
success and for long lasting results.
- One must avoid smoking and drinking atleast 48 hours before the
Here’s a step by step description of knee replacement surgery procedure:
The surgeon starts off with making an incision on the front of the knee to reach the patella or knee cap. This incision is about 8 inches long.
The next step involves rotating of the patella outside the area of the knee. This helps the surgeon to have a good view of the area.
Now the femur or thighbone is resurfaced by the surgeon. Here he carefully measures the bones and makes precise cuts. The damaged part of the cartilage and bone is removed and cut away.
Now the surgeon attaches the artificial or metal femoral component to the end of the femur and makes use of bone cement to seal it properly.
Now the surgeon will resurface the tibia or shinbone. The damaged cartilage and bone is removed from the top part of the tibia. He then shapes the bone so that it can fit the metal and the plastic tibia parts.
After this, the tibial component is implanted and the patella is re-adjusted. The procedure is thus completed.
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Once the surgery is complete and done, patient is taken to the recovery room where he is monitored very frequently. When everything is stable, the patient will be taken to the hospital room. In some cases, one may experience a problem in the passage of urine and this condition may be aggravated by taking medications for pain.
As a part of rehabilitation physical therapy is considered very important. This can start 48 hours after the surgical procedure and during this time, patient can experience discomfort, stiffness and some pain. Physical therapy also includes some walking and exercising.
To speed up the recovery, a device called CPM or continuous passive motion machine is used. It is attached to the operated leg so that it can move the knee at various angles to aid circulation and movement.
Risks and complications
If you are someone who is considering going for knee replacement surgery, then you must be aware of the possible risks and complications associated with it. Some of them are given as follows:
- Blood clots in the legs is one of the possible risks related to knee
replacement surgery. The blood clot sometimes travels to the lungs
and this is called pulmonary embolism and can further lead to
shortness of breath, shock and chest pain.
- Nausea and vomiting are also some risks associated with knee
- One may also experience urinary tract infections, stiffness, chronic
knee pain and nerve damage
- Blood vessel injury can also be caused as a complication.
- Sometimes one may experience infection of the knee which may require
an operation to correct.
- Bleeding in the knee joint is also a big risk.
Knee replacement surgery may prove to be an expensive procedure but the price greatly varies from location to location. The cost also depends upon which type of knee replacement you are opting for. For example, total knee replacement costs about Rs. 500000 to Rs 600000. However knee replacement may cost around Rs. 200000 in India.
Key global facts
The following are some of the interesting facts related to knee replacement surgery:
- Knee replacement surgery is one of the most commonstrong text bone surgeries in the US.
- In US, doctors perform more than 600000 knee replacement procedures every year.
- There are various kinds of knee replacement surgeries and some of the
main types include total knee replacement, partial knee replacement,
kneecap replacement and complex knee replacement.
- Modern day technology and advances in medical science has made knee
replacement surgery very less painful than before.
- Believing that driving is not possible after surgery is a myth.
Infact, one tends to be more comfortable driving and doing other such
tasks after the surgery.