Knee replacement, which is also known as arthroplasty is a type of surgical procedure done to resurface the knee as a result of damage due to the onset of arthritis. The surgery is generally recommended for a patient who is suffering from a serious case of arthritis or an individual who have experienced a bad knee injury. The surgery, resurfaces the damaged part of the knee so as to reduce acute knee discomfort. This type of surgery is known to effectively reduce knee pain for almost 90% of the patients who opt for it.
Knee replacement surgery is generally recommended to patients who have a severe case of osteoarthritis. It generally occurs with old age and the knee cartilage tends to break down because of the constant wear and tear. The onset of this condition hinders with knee movement and can cause acute pain. The condition may be treated through other methods like prescription of painkillers, physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory medication. But if such treatment is ineffective doctors generally recommend knew replacement procedure.
A knee replacement may also be advised in case of a severe injury to the joint due to an accident.
Before one undergoes the procedure, the doctor explains the proceedings in detail and you will have to sign a consent form. A detailed medical history is taken again and relevant tests are done. Make sure to inform your doctor about any allergies you have or medication that you are taking.
In order to prepare the patient for the operation, water and food is stopped some 8 hours prior the procedure. A sedative is given just before the procedure to help the patient relax. Patients are also asked to arrange for someone to help them with recovery for a couple of weeks post the procedure.
Knee replacement surgery is performed under the influence of anaesthesia. The procedure is as follows-
Once the surgery is done the patient is shifted from the operation theatre to the recovery room, where he is monitored constantly. You may have to stay at the hospital for a few days after the surgery. During this period you will start physical therapy to help you gain back knee movement. During this period pain killers are also prescribed to bring down the pain and help with exercise.
Once you are discharged and go home, ensure that you take care of the surgical wound. It should be kept clean and dry. Specific instructions will be given about how you can bathe and clean up. The dressing is generally removed at the next check-up. In case you develop a fever, or experience acute pain and swelling inform your doctor immediately. You can go back to your normal routine as soon as your doctor says it is okay to do so.
All surgical procedures involve certain complications, and so does knee replacement. A patient should be aware of the various risks of the surgery before undergoing it. A knee replacement procedure involves complications like-
There may be some other risks involved depending on the patient’s health and medical condition, which should be discussed with the doctor before the procedure.
Knee replacement procedure was first done during the 1970s. During that period doctors were of the opinion that a knee implant would last for 10 years. Today, knee implants have a life of about 20 years. In fact it has been predicted that by the year 2030 about 450,000 knee replacement procedures will be done each year.
After the surgery the pain is reduced to a great extent and disappears in most cases. One can gradually go back to their normal daily activities and can even indulge in sports like golf, tennis, running and swimming without any problems. Quality of life is greatly improved.