Joints are those parts of the body where the bones of our body meet. Joints make it possible for human being to move. The different joints that are present in our body are the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee joints. Many people all over the world are afflicted by joint pain and in most cases, the pain is addressed with the help of lifestyle changes and some medicines. However, joint replacement surgery is required in some critical cases. The most common cause of joint pain is arthritis, which occurs when there is inflammation in the joints. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common forms of arthritis.
Some of the other causes of joint pain include gout, lupus, infectious diseases like mumps and influenza, cancer, osteoporosis, rickets, infection of a bone or even overuse of a joint. The cartilage is a connective tissue and normal wear and tear of this tissue can cause osteoarthritis. Arthritis generally occurs when there is some damage to the cartilages. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder and it occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the body.
Parts of an arthritic or damaged joint are removed in a joint replacement therapy. Some of the reasons that may warrant a joint replacement surgery are arthritis, excessive use of a joint or any disease. This is a process where the removed joint is replaced with a metal, plastic or ceramic device called prosthesis. The prosthesis is designed in such a manner so that it can perform the functions of a healthy and normal joint.
The joint replacement surgery is generally performed at an hospital or outpatient surgery center and it generally takes a few hours. The damaged cartilage and bone is removed from the joint and then replaced with prosthetic components made of ceramic, metal or plastic. The prosthesis replaces the damaged joint and helps to perform most of the functions that could have been done with an actual joint. For example, in hip replacement surgery, the damaged ball or the upper end of the femur is replaced with a metal ball. This metal ball is attached to a metal stem that is fitted into the femur bone. Finally, a plastic socket is inserted into the pelvis to replace the damaged socket.
The three most common types of joint replacement therapy are hip replacement, knee replacement and shoulder replacement. In hip replacement surgery, the socket and ball where cartilage and bone have been lost are treated and an artificial ball and socket are inserted into the healthy bone. Knee replacement surgery and shoulder replacement surgery are generally done to treat end-stage arthritis
It is possible to replace even ankle and finger joints if the need arises. Installing an artificial joint greatly reduces the pain that a patient may have been experiencing and also helps to revive some mobility in the treated joint. Research has shown that obese and overweight people are more likely to require a joint replacement surgery compared to a person of normal weight.
A person suffering from joint pain will first be recommended nonsurgical treatments like medications, physical therapy and lifestyle changes. A person, whose joint pain cannot be addressed by resorting to these non-surgical treatments, is eligible for joint replacement surgery. A doctor can recommend use of walking aids, medications like analgesics and immunosupressants, physical therapy and an exercise program to deal with joint pain. A person becomes eligible for this treatment only after the non-surgical therapies have failed.
A joint replacement surgery is basically the last resort for a person suffering from joint pain. A doctor usually recommends non-surgical treatments like use of medicines, making some lifestyle changes, exercising and may also advice a person to get massages or to undertake some other physical therapy. If a person gets relief or his condition is managed with the help of these non-surgical methods, he/she is not eligible for joint replacement surgery.
A joint replacement surgery can have a number of side effects. They can be infection, blood clots in the deep veins of the legs that may cause pain and swelling, pulmonary embolism that may result in one or more arteries in the lungs getting blocked by a blood clot and damage to the nerves and other tissues. Other side-effects may include bone fracture, dislocation of bones, bleeding and wound haematoma and pain.
A person who has undergone a joint replacement surgery should voluntarily lead an active life. This will help the artificial joint to respond better and also be beneficial for you in the long run. It is to be kept in mind that rehabilitation and recovery will vary from person to person. As the surrounding muscles of the replaced joint get weak due to inactivity, the patient may feel some pain. Thus doctors will recommend some exercises to deal with it. A person may start to walk the very day of undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery. However, he might need to take the help of a walker or crutches. A shoulder replacement surgery will require the patient to do some gentle, range-of-motion exercises.
The time required to recover from a joint replacement surgery will vary from person to person. A person generally has to stay in the hospital for a few days. A person can stand or walk with the help of walker or crutches on the day of the surgery itself in case of hip or knee replacement surgeries. It generally takes about 6 weeks to resume normal activities. However, recovering fully from a joint replacement surgery may take a year.
The cost of knee replacement surgery can vary according to the city or hospital where the treatment is being done. Knee replacement surgery can cost between Rs 4 lakhs – 6 lakhs while hospitals in Gujarat do not cost more than Rs 4 lakh. A hip replacement therapy costs something around Rs 4 lakhs.
A joint replacement therapy helps to replace a worn out or damaged joint. An artificial prosthesis is installed that helps to reduce the pain and to restore some of the mobility of the affected joint. An artificial joint may help a person to lead a normal life. However, a young person may have to undergo a joint replacement surgery as they may get affected with rheumatoid arthritis at an early age. That person might have to get his/her artificial joint replaced as the previous one can undergo wear and tear due to continuous use over a long period of time.
In recent times, doctors are trying to use stem-cell therapy as an alternative to knee replacement surgery. Other alternatives to knee replacement surgery include arthroscopic washout and debridement, osteotomy, autologous chondrocyte therapy and microfracture. However, other joint replacement surgeries are done only after non-surgical methods have been tried and they have not provided the intended results. So there are no alternative treatments to joint placement surgery (except knee).
Rs 4 to 6 lakhs
Of all the joints in the body, the knees probably see the maximum wear and tear. In cases of severe osteoarthritis, or injuries which destroy the knee joint, a total knee replacement surgery may be advised. This procedure involves the replacement of diseased cartilage and bone in the knees with artificial materials.
In cases of osteoarthritis and other such degenerative conditions, this procedure is performed only when the adjacent joints such as the hips are strong and healthy. Before the procedure, you may be advised to discontinue any blood thinning and anti-inflammatory medication. Your doctor will also conduct blood and urine tests to check for signs of anaemia, abnormal metabolism and infections. You may also be asked to lose weight if you are on the heavier side to reduce the pressure on your knees.
A total knee replacement surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia. The lower end of the femur bone or thigh bone and the upper end of the tibia or calf bone are removed and replaced with a metal shell and plastic piece respectively. In some cases, a plastic ‘button’ may also be placed on the surface of the knee cap. If the posterior cruciate ligament in intact it is left as is or it is replaced by a polyethene post to stabilise the joint and prevent the calf from slipping backwards.
In most cases, a patient is discharged after 3-5 days of hospitalisation following the surgery. Post-surgery, it takes about a month for the patient to experience notable improvements. For optimal results, total knee surgery must be followed by physiotherapy and regular exercise. This helps prevent scarring and keeps the muscles strong enough to maintain joint stability. Exercising can also reduce recovery time. However, not all exercises are advisable. Avoid running, jumping, climbing stairs and contact sports which have a high risk of knee injury. Swimming is highly encouraged as it boosts endurance and muscle strength without putting any pressure on the joint.
In some cases, a second surgery may be required in cases of total knee replacement to fix fractures, loosening or complications of the artificial joint. As with any other surgical procedure, a total knee replacement surgery also has risks. Some of these are:
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Joint pains can be a cluttered affair and believe it or not 9 out of the 10 cases have to live with the pain despite all the treatment options aiming to reduce the agony. There may be several instances where you might be coming across the term “joint replacement surgery”. No, no need to panic! We are not living in the 1960’s anymore. We are living in the age of cut throat medical innovations that is actually hard to keep up. To sum up in a layman’s turn joint replacements have become as easy as dressing a wound. 90% of the cases are carried out within few hours and the patient is required to stay not more than a day or two at the hospital. the patients no longer have to dedicate a part of our lives for the recovery. Let us have an in-depth look at it.
One shouldn't wait for the condition of knee joints to get worse and visit a well-known orthopaedic and go ahead for the procedure. Since, it involves the portion of your knee cartilage or a portion of the joint being scrapped/cut to pave way for the artificial joint parts to be attached getting the best treatment is a must. So, make no mistakes!
Knee replacement has always been a complex procedure but with the advancements in the field, the process has become much more simple and easy. Discuss the procedure in detail with your doctor and also ensure that you choose a clinic with a good reputation for such a course of action. Joint replacements in today's time last much longer and with proper maintenance and care, they can in some cases, last for a life time.
Joint replacement procedures usually do not require any maintenance and if needed you might have to go for regular checkups to make sure that the joints carry on well. Choose the best clinic for the replacements and live a healthy and fruitful life. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.
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 worldwide 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 a 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 a 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 channeled 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.
You may have reached a ripe age with all the worldly knowledge at your disposal to share with the world. You may have reached a stage where you no longer feel like a learner in important areas of life and could easily be someone who has the experiences and the expertise to help people out in times of their trouble.
However, you may also be at a juncture where your knees in particular may not be your best friends anymore. You may be facing a lot of joint issues and the knees may be a pair of joints that give you immense pain and discomfort when you climb stairs, walk some distance or even just stand or sit. It is very likely that you may be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and may experience unbearable pain in a lot of joints of the body.
Though when you are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, you feel pain in more than one joints, but the knees are the worst affected areas in most cases and a lot of patients are advised to undergo a knee replacement surgery to be able to control the pain. There may be a lot of debates and doubts about whether a person suffering from RA should go under the knife to experience a new life after the surgery.
Some may not agree:
Just as all things have two sides to them, there are those who may be in favour of a knee replacement surgery and those who may not suggest taking the surgery. The reasons why a lot of experts may not favour the surgery include reasons such as the recovery period may take too long, though the surgery may be carried out for the knee joints, it may not be able to help in bringing down the pain in the other joints and arguments such as the replacement surgery may not be absolutely successful all the time.
Here is why you should get it:
Though the patients may have to go through pain in getting a set of new knee joints, there are a lot of reasons that help the patients in taking up the resolve to get the surgery done. Here are a few reasons why it may be the thing to do:
With such advantages from the surgery, it may make sense to a lot of people to get over with the procedure and experience a better quality of life.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Knee injuries are the most complex injuries of bone and cartilages. A direct hit can lead to this situation. You may get this injury while doing your daily activities. An activity as simple as walking or a deadly accident can lead to this injury. You never know, when you are left with a damaged knee. In critical cases, you are advised to undertake a joint replacement surgery. According to latest studies, doctors replace more than a million knees or hips in a year in the United States. It is a life-changing procedure. But you need to know whether you are the right candidate or not? Follow the below-mentioned points to get a clear picture:
Reasons to replace your knee
When joint replacement may not help?
There are a number of situations when the joint replacement may not help. These are as follows:
If there is any infection in the body, you cannot take up this surgery. If you have suffered from a heart attack, stroke, diabetes or any related issues, then you will have complications at the time of surgery. It is also advisable to get rid of the extra kilos, if you are obese to get the best results. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopaedics.