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Most of us may not be aware, but the knee is the largest joint in the human body and contributes the maximum to a person’s physical movement from one place to another. The knees play a significant role in a variety of movements including squatting, supporting the weight, running, kneeling, sitting, etc.
Whether it is a severe accident, osteoarthritis that set in with age, or other reasons, the result could be stiff, painful knees. The first line of treatment would be exercise, physiotherapy, and medications. However, if these do not work, then surgical treatment is the choice. Though usually it is reserved for people over the age of 50, there could be exceptions.
Given the number of functions it is involved in, when a serious procedure like knee replacement is being considered, the pain that the person would go through and the recovery time are two important parameters to address. It is best that the patient has a detailed discussion with the doctor and gets all doubts clarified. This will help both the patient and the doctor have realistic and practical expectations about what to expect after the surgery.
So, when pain and stiffness make knee replacement inevitable, prepare for it. The following sequence outlines what happens right from surgery to recovery.
Under general anesthesia, the damaged portion of the knee is removed, and a prosthesis (metal or plastic) is used to replace the removed portion.
Hospital stay can range from 3 to 5 days.
In about a month, the patient will have remarkable recovery, with almost no pain.
Though not advisable, most patients would be able to stand and do basic movement on the day of surgery.
Begin walking with the support of parallel bars and continue using cane/walker/crutches for the first few days to avoid overload on the knees.
With proper support, walking is possible in 3 to 5 days. Continue using a cane for the next few weeks to strengthen the knee.
Schedule a postoperative visit in the 4th to 6th week after surgery.
Draw up an exercise routine with your physiotherapist.
Ice pack can be applied to control swelling.
Driving should be possible, once you are off pain medications, as these can make you drowsy.
Blood clot in the surgical site causing a bruise will disappear in a couple of weeks.
Knee replacement is almost magical as in the long run (10 years postoperatively), there is a good 98% chances of success.
Having said this, it is important to remember each person responds differently to the procedure and therefore treatment/rehabilitation is completely personalized. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an orthopedist.
The first question when you greet somebody is 'how are you' and this often refers to our state of well-being. While most answers would be great, awesome or good, we usually think of how we are doing physically. While some of us may talk about physical conditions (say things like feverish, have a cold, etc.), not many would think of talking about mental health conditions. However, mental health is very important for overall well-being.
Can you think of someone who is severely depressed or anxious all the time and have a good physical health? Chances are very bleak, and if you consider the overall health as a mix of mental and physical balance, this is not possible. Read on to understand how important mental health is and why you should start paying more attention to it.
- Improved physical health: If someone is in a stressed state, it is obvious that they would not be able to do the activities they enjoy. Being affected mentally also leads to reduced immunity and sleep disturbances, making the person prone to infections and other disorders. Stress is one of the main risk factors for chronic medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
- Improved prognosis: Most often, doctors focus on treating the physical aspects of a person’s health. However, with recent emphasis on mental health, more and more doctors are looking at wholesome measures to improve a person’s health. Results show that when a person’s mental health is also addressed, the physical ailments respond very well.
- Improved productivity: People with unattended mental health disorders often resort to absence from work and/or school, can have financial instability, be homeless and can fall repeatedly. Being mentally healthy provides overall changed perspective of life and therefore improves productivity.
- Improved personal relationships: Children of people affected with mental illness are prone to neglect, abuse, rejection, and behavioural issues. There is also social isolation, which may lead into adulthood, and these children may also have emotional health problems. Others in the close circle including spouses, siblings, parents, close friends and colleagues would be clearly affected by a person who is mentally unhealthy.
- Social effects: These people are highly prone to social crimes like rape, murder, theft, violence, etc. They may not be able to afford their treatment and/or resort to these crimes to assert themselves.
- Improved quality of life: Life expectancy is higher in people who are mentally healthy. Even with mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, this is reduced, and the chances of a happier, healthier life are reduced.
Whatever the effect, mental health needs to be addressed as equally as we do physical problems, using medications, counselling, or lifestyle changes. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist and ask a free question.