What is Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement is a modern surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability. It is performed through the implant of an orthopedic metal and plastic component shaped as a joint so that the knee can move properly. It can also be described as knee resurfacing.
What leads to Knee Replacement?
Although there are several conditions which may lead to the need for knee replacement, arthritis (whether it be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or traumatic arthritis) is the most common reason. A number of other factors contribute to joint disease including genetics, developmental abnormalities, repetitive injuries and obesity.
When is Knee Replacement required?
Knee replacement is required people with severe knee damage. Doctors recommend it when no other treatment or medicines are helping anymore. It is most commonly performed for osteoarthritis and also for other knee diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Knee replacement can relieve pain and allow you to be more active.
Total Knee Replacement vs. Partial
In Total Knee Replacement
A surgeon repairs your knee joint by covering the thighbone with a metal covering and encasing the shinbone in plastic. The prosthesis replaces the rough and irregular surfaces with a smooth surface. The procedure involves removal of some bone and cartilage.
Most patients conclude rehabilitation within eight weeks—at which point you should be able to move around without assistance and resume of your daily activities.
A patient will have to spend at least 3-5 days at a hospital. The patient might also undergo a combination of physical and occupational therapy in a hospital. The knee is most likely cradled in a passive motion while the medical staff will monitor the limits of your knee. The doctor will most likely suggest physical therapy for further rehabilitation.
For Partial Knee Replacement
Your surgeon will replace only the part of your knee that is damaged or arthritic. The perks of this approach is a smaller incision, less bone and blood loss, which eventually reduces the pain. Patients undergoing a partial knee replacement experience a faster recovery time than those who taking a TKR (Total Knee Replacement). The only flaw is that you will have to eventually undergo further surgery, if arthritis occurs in the parts of the knee that are not replaced.
What to expect from knee replacement surgery?
- A total knee surgery replacement usually requires 1.5-3 hours of operative time. The patients are taken to the recovery room where their vital organs are monitored. After the stabilization, the patients are returned to their hospital room.
- Initially, the passage of urine will be difficult for the patient, which can be aggravated by pain medications. Physical therapy becomes crucial as a part of rehabilitation and requires full participation by the patient for optimal outcome.
- After 48 hours of surgery, the physical therapy can begin. There may be some degree of pain, discomfort and stiffness. You may have to use Knee immobilizers to stabilize the knee while undergoing physical therapy, walking, and sleeping.
- A CPM machine (continuous passive motion) is first attached to the operated leg, which then moves knees through various degrees of range of motion for hours while the patient relaxes.
- Eventually, the patient will start walking up and down stairs using a walker and crutches initially. A number of home exercises are given to strengthen the thigh and calf muscles.
Want to know more about Knee Replacement, consult an Orthopaedic Surgeon today.