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Knee is a hinge joint where the lower leg bone tibia meets the thigh bone femur. During osteoarthritis, cartilage or ligament defects and degenerative arthritis, knee replacement surgery is recommended world-wide to get relief from extreme pain. Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroscopy, is a surgical procedure, in which the affected knee joint is replaced with synthetic material. The most likely candidates for total knee replacement are the patients with severe destruction of the knee joint coupled with progressive pain and impaired function.
Modern technological advances have made computer assisted knee replacement surgery extremely popular around the globe. In this surgery, the surgeon is assisted by a computer to remove the optimum amount and angle of the bone, which otherwise is done by inspecting manually. This is an excellent example of surgery through small incision and it eliminates the chances of human error. A perfect alignment and balance is achieved and hence longevity is also increased to 20 - 30 years. Knee replacement surgery is also specific to gender as the anatomy of male and female patients is different.
There are many types of knee replacements, most common being the total knee replacement or Total Knee Arthroplasty. In addition, there is partial knee replacement, bilateral knee replacement, revision knee replacement and knee arthroscopy.
In knee replacement surgery, the worn out surfaces of joints of knee are replaced with artificial implant of plastic and metal. The lower end of the femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The upper end of the lower leg bone (tibia) is also removed and replaced with a channelled plastic implant with a metal stem. A plastic ball is also added under the kneecap depending on its condition. These artificial components are commonly referred as prosthesis. The design of these highly flexible implants replicate knee, with the rotating knee replacement implants assist in backward and forward swing of the legs.
Patients whose knee joints have been damaged by either trauma or progressive arthritis should consider total knee replacement surgery. Post-surgical hospital stay after knee joint replacement is usually three to five days. The surgery has a very high success rate and shows dramatic improvement after a month. This improvement is most notable one month or more after surgery. The pain caused by the damaged joint is reduced significantly when the new gliding surface is constructed during surgery. Initially, patient will walk with the help of a walking aid until the knee is able to support full body weight. After six weeks, patient can walk comfortably with minimal assistance. Patients with artificial joints are prescribed to take antibiotics during the course of any elective invasive procedures including dental work. Physiotherapy is an essential part of rehabilitation and it will increase the muscle strength and patient can enjoy most activities, except running and jumping.
The knee joint is made up of several elements including the knee cap, meniscus, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and muscles. Damage to any part of the knee can cause chronic pain.
What can cause knee pain:
Fractures: These are caused by the breaking up of the kneecap due to falls or collisions.ACL Injuries: Caused due to the tearing of the anterior cruciate ligament (that connects the femur and the shinbone). Especially common in sportspersons such as footballers or basketball players.Meniscus tears: The meniscus or the rubber-like cartilage (that acts as a shock absorber) can be torn by sudden jerks or excess pressure.
Arthritis: The chief cause of lingering knee pain, arthritis itself can be of a number of types.
- Osteoarthritis, which is a result of deterioration of cartilages due to wear and tear
- Rheumatoid Arthritis, an inflammatory chronic disorder
- Septic Arthritis, causing pain, swelling and redness.
- Gout caused due to the development of uric acid crystals in the joints
How to deal with it:
- Exercise: Moderate to intense exercise is prescribed for one and all. This, of course, depends on one's overall health and age. If you are already suffering from joint pain, then you may want to go easy on the exercise with a focus on building muscle strength and foundation. If you are healthy, then some amount of daily exercise as a routine will keep those knees in prime working condition and well lubricated as well. Inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle can affect the knees very badly.
- Dealing with Load: Weight is a big one. Carrying around extra pounds and kilograms can be detrimental for your knees in the long run. Your knee is not equipped to handle the excessive weight. It already supports three to five times your weight when you get up and walk around or indulge in some mild jogging. One must be careful of those extra pounds to take the load off the knee and keep it from falling prey to damage.
- Do not Ignore: Warning signals such as chronic or acute knee pain should not be ignored. Remember to see a doctor or an orthopaedic specialist to find out if you have contracted an infection or if you may have suffered a fracture due to an injury.
The ligaments around the knee are strong. However, sometimes they can become injured. They may be stretched (sprained), or sometimes torn (ruptured). A ligament rupture can be partial (just some of the fibres that make up the ligament are torn) or complete (the ligament is torn through completely). The majority of knee ligament injuries are sprains and not tears and they tend to settle down quickly.
ACL injury and other ligament injuries can be caused by:
- Twisting your knee with the foot planted
- Getting hit on the knee
- Extending the knee too far
- Jumping and landing on a flexed knee
- Stopping suddenly when running
- Suddenly shifting weight from one leg to the other
These injuries are common in soccer players, football players, basketball players, skiers, gymnasts, and other athletes.
- Rest the knee.
- Ice your knee to reduce pain and swelling.
- Compress your knee.
- Elevate your knee on a pillow when you're sitting or lying down.
- Wear a knee brace to stabilise the knee
- Practise stretching and strengthening exercises if they are recommended.https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16Y_GBnYm2-tnHKOSVjyKU9CJ0FLTkPu8q8i5tul8nLs/edit?ts=5ae18dcc#gid=0
For severe collateral ligament tears, you may need surgery to attach the ligament back to the bone if it was pulled away, or to the other part of the ligament if it was torn in the middle.
A meniscus tear is a common knee injury. The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee. Each knee has two menisci (plural of meniscus)-one at the outer edge of the knee and one at the inner edge. The menisci keep your knee steady by balancing your weight across the knee. A torn meniscus can prevent your knee from working right.
A meniscus tear is usually caused by twisting or turning quickly, often with the foot planted while the knee is bent. Meniscus tears can occur when you lift something heavy or play sports. As you get older, your meniscus gets worn. This can make it tear more easily.
Treatment may include:
- Rest, ice, wrapping the knee with an elastic bandage, and propping up the leg on pillows.
- Physical therapy.
- Surgery to repair the meniscus.
- Surgery to remove part of the meniscus.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Any mild fracture in the hip can give a tough time to people. A hipbone fracture or broken hip is mostly common in the elderly people, especially in women. Mostly, the reason is underlying thinning of bones. In addition, in any hospital hip fracture is considered to be the most common bone treatment in the orthopaedic department.
A hipbone fracture can be intracapsular (within the joint capsule), or it can be extracapsular (outside the joint capsule).
What causes the hipbone fracture?
As discussed before, the leading cause of hipbone fracture is thinning of bones. So if you develop osteoporosis, you end up getting a fracture in your hip, mostly when you fall. Osteoporosis generally means your bone density has decreased, and your bones have become honeycombed. This makes the bone more fragile.
Generally, if you have a fracture in your hip, then you will feel pain around the injured portion, you will face difficulty in walking or moving. These are the most common symptoms that can be felt during a broken hip. Mostly the intensity of the fracture is determined clinically via different tests like X-ray, MRI, CT scan etc. The treatment may vary and depends upon the intensity of the injury. Now if we talk about the treatment of hipbone fracture, it's mostly surgery.
Well, it will be smart enough to take prevention regarding the hipbone fracture. There are various kinds of guidelines, which can help elders to prevent a hipbone fracture.
How to prevent hipbone fracture?
- First and foremost, it is advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle in young age in order to build a healthy bone, which decreases the chance of bone fractures in older age.
- Always remember to maintain a healthy bone.
- Calcium and vitamin D both are very important for healthy bones. Health experts advise, when you attain the age of 50 or above, you should daily intake 1,200 milligrams of calcium per day and 600 international units of vitamin D per day.
- Exercise can help you to maintain peak bone density for longer periods, and it also increases the strength of your body and bones. Balance training also plays a pivotal role since it reduces the chance of falling.
- Avoid consuming of tobacco and alcohols as it can reduce bone density.
- Get your eyes checked every year so that you do not face any problem while seeing. This is because poor view increases the chance of falling.
- Keep an eye on every medicine you are taking. As dizziness or weakness can be side effects of many medicines, these can lead you to fall often. So it is advised to discuss your medication with doctors.
- As you get older, the chance of high or low blood pressure doubles up. So you should be extra careful while standing up.
If you don't feel steady enough, then to avoid falling, it is safe to use a walker or walking stick in the old age. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A blood clot in the leg is termed as Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. This blood clot can be fatal because it usually blocks the passage of blood to the heart by damaging the one way valves of the veins. This can also reach other organs like the lungs in which situation the case becomes complicated and may also lead to death. There are various ways of preventing the onset of these clots. Follow these points to know more.
- Blood Thinners: Prolonged hospital stay and a major surgery like joint replacement can lead to blood clots in the legs or DVT. Therefore, it is imperative to ask your doctor about a prescription for blood thinners which can help in better blood flow despite minimal motion in the legs or stiffness.
- Compressions Stockings: If you have been in the hospital for a prolonged period or suffering from leg paralysis, then the risk of blood clots is greater than most others. You can make use of compression stockings which will help in preventing clots by holding the area tight so that the blood is forced to pump and flow. These should be used every time you are admitted to the hospital.
- Exercise: It is important to keep moving in case you are travelling in a long flight that is over four hours long. Also, you can try certain mild exercises in case you have a long standing condition of pain or cramping in the leg muscles and joints. From simple toe flexes to muscle strengthening exercises like the heel or towel hook, you can ensure that the tightening action makes your muscle firm so that the blood clots do not have a chance to form. You may also need to lose weight in case you are overweight so that you can alleviate the risk of these clots.
- Water: Staying hydrated is something that we all need to follow in any case, but it is especially important if you are risk of developing blood clots in the legs. Drinking plenty of fluids is a natural way of thinning the blood, especially if you have been in bed or travelling for prolonged periods.
- Loose Fitting Clothing: You may want to wear loose fitting clothing when you are travelling or in the hospital so that you do not end up unnecessarily compressing an area in a way that will be detrimental for the blood flow there. Wearing loose clothing ensures that the blood flow carries on as per its normal routine without any blockages.
It is important to remember the above points so that you keep blood clots in the legs at bay. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
If you are suffering from arthritis, it is important for you to know about how it affects your knee and other joints. Arthritis is a chronic, systematic inflammatory disease which damages your joints and connective tissues. Your knee is commonly affected by arthritis and there are three primary types of arthritis that occur in the knees. They include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis.
Types of arthritis
The different types of arthritis affecting the knees occur due to different reasons. Osteoarthritis is a progressive condition, which wears away the joint cartilage over time. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory condition, which may occur at any age. Post-traumatic arthritis occurs after an injury is inflicted to the knee and may occur several years after a ligament injury or knee fracture.
- Arthritis pain may occur all of a sudden, but commonly develops slowly. In the early stages, the pain is observed in the morning after you have been inactive over the night. Pain is likely when you want to move around. Pain may be experienced even when immobile.
- Periodic inflammation is a common symptom of arthritis of the knee. This happens because of the formation of bone spurs or excess fluids in your knee. The swelling gets pronounced after being inactive for a long period. The skin on your knee may look red and feel warm while you touch it. This may lead to chronic inflammation, which is very difficult to manage.
There are several ways of treating knee arthritis. The mode of treatment depends on the severity and cause of knee arthritis. NSAIDS or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed for dealing with arthritis pain temporarily. Other medicines used for knee arthritis treatment are as follows:
- Analgesics, which help in pain reduction act as good alternatives to NSAIDS.
- Corticosteroids are used for reducing inflammation.
- Certain DMARDs or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs are used.
Certain injections that are used for helping with knee arthritis. They include:
- Hyaluronic acid supplements, which ease the pain and inflammation by lubricating your knee joints.
- Corticosteroid injections also soothe inflammation and pain.
You may also require a surgery for dealing with knee arthritis when other modes of treatment fail. The most common surgeries are as follows:
- Total joint replacement, where your knee is replaced with a prosthetic made of metal, plastic or ceramic.
- Osteotomy, where the knee bones are modified for controlling pressure and damage in the knees.
- Arthroscopy, where an incision is made in the knee for removing damaged parts.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!