KNEE REPLACEMENT In the contemporary times, our lifestyle habits pose a serious challenge to our body and the knees are the first to bear the brunt of these changes. Owing to such habits, many people experience knee pain caused by wear and tear, an injury or hectic routine. Some other people suffer similar pain due to aging and arthritis.
What is Knee Replacement? A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the diseased knee joint is replaced with artificial material, metal and plastic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee.
Indications Total knee replacement can be performed to correct mild valgus (outward bending) or varus (Inward bending) deformity, if one experiences extreme pain when performing physical activities requiring a range of movement in the knee joint.
Is Knee Replacement Surgery for You? Total knee replacement surgery is considered for patients whose knee joints have been damaged by progressive arthritis (age or activity related), trauma (accidents), rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis (disease) or other rare destructive diseases of the joint. Regardless of the cause of the damage to the joint, the resulting progressively increasing pain and stiffness and decreasing daily function lead the patient to consider total knee replacement.
Total knee replacement surgery includes 4-5 inches incision over the knee, 3-5 days of hospitalization, physical therapy can begin 24 hours after surgery. A unique device that can help speed recovery is the continuous passive motion (CPM) machine. It constantly moves the knee through various degrees of range of motion, while the patient relaxes.
Patients will start walking using a walker and crutches. Eventually, patients will learn to walk up and down stairs and grades. A number of home exercises are given to strengthen thigh and calf muscles.
One month post surgery the patient reports relief from stiffness, pain and starts enjoying social activities with were inhibited earlier.
The hip and knee arthroplasty is a reliable procedure to the present day, with favorable results over time and a success rate >90%. However, there are also reported failures, complications or residual pains which are not exempt even in the non-prosthetic implants. The implant that lasts a lifetime does not exist, even if we can predict its survival beyond the 15-20 years of operation.
The Orthopedic Surgeon and Physical therapist work together to achieve the best clinical outcome for the patient.
Post-op precautions Remember this is an artificial Hip or Knee and must be treated with care.
Avoid the combined movement of bending your hip and turning your foot in. This can cause Dislocation. Other precautions to avoid dislocation are
You should sleep with a pillow between your legs for 6 weeks. Avoid crossing your legs and bending your Hip past a right angle
- Avoid low chairs
- Elevated toilet seat helpful
- You can shower once the wound has healed
- If you have increasing redness or swelling in the wound or temperatures over 100.5° you should call your doctor
- If you are having any procedures such as dental work or any other surgery you should take antibiotics before and after to prevent infection in your new prosthesis. Consult your surgeon for details Your Hip replacement may go off in a metal detector at the airport.
Failure to relieve pain Very rare but may occur especially if some pain is coming from other areas such as the spine.