Knee replacement is a surgery wherein an artificial joint is used to replace a diseased, damaged or worn out knee. This surgery is common among people who fall in the age group of 60-80, but recent trends seem to suggest that younger people are opting for this surgery as well. The lifetime of the artificial knee joint is around 25-35 years, if the knee is well cared for it can last longer.
Why do you need knee replacement?
The decision of knee replacement is most likely taken when: Severe pain and stiffness makes it hard for you to walk, climb stairs, or get out of a chair. Continuous knee pain bothers you while resting, possibly keeping you from sleeping well. Your knee is often swollen. There is a Crepitus and tenderness on examination and patient complains of crackling sound on bending or flexing the knee. Waddling is present while walking Your knee is bowed or has other defects. Physical therapy and medication haven’t helped. Walking is becoming difficult without support
Common conditions when knee replacement is done:
1) In case of advanced Osteoarthritis where the bone is damaged and cartilage is worn off and due to no cartilage, there is friction between the thigh bone (Femur) and shin bone(Tibia) the patient is having severe pain and stiffness and membrane that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and thickened.
2) In the case of Rheumatoid Arthritis in which the synovial membrane that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed and thickened. This inflammation can damage the cartilage and eventually cause cartilage loss, pain, and stiffness. Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of a group of disorders termed “inflammatory arthritis.”
3) Post-traumatic arthritis. This can follow a serious knee injury. Fractures of the bones surrounding the knee or tears of the knee ligaments may damage the articular cartilage over time, causing knee pain and limiting knee function.
Knee replacement surgery is classified into:
Preoperative screening and investigation are must and after physician fitness only patient is considered fit for surgery. The usual hospital stay period is around 2-3 days after the surgery is completed. Initially, you may require a walker for a period of 15 days to 1 month for walking post-surgery but there is no requirement of bed rest and rigorous physiotherapy with the newer technique of knee replacement surgery. It takes about 3 months time to get completely recovered after surgery but post-surgery recovery depends on various factors like comorbidities and pre and post-surgery clinical condition and lifestyle. Knee replacement surgery is one of the most successful treatments with very high acceptance worldwide.