Knee replacement surgery commonly referred to as knee arthroplasty is the most commonly performed joint replacement procedure. In the United States, more than a half 1 million knee replacement surgical procedures are performed every year.
This surgery is performed to treat the defects of knee cartilage caused by osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or another disease, damage, deformity or injury.
Knee replacement surgery consists of two main procedures: Total knee replacement (TKR) in which both sides of your knee joint are replaced with artificial parts (prostheses), and partial (half) knee replacement (PKR) in which only one side of your joint is replaced in a smaller operation. The average in the US is $49,500. A partial knee replacement generally costs about 10 to 20 percent less than a total knee replacement. But there are much more affordable cost alternatives in European cities such as Turkey, Poland, UK, and Lithuania.
In this article, we will focus on the general facts of total knee replacement surgery, including its candidacy requirements, procedure details, recovery, and outcomes.
You may have a number of reasons to undergo this surgery:
If you have at least one of these complaints, apart from the other general surgical candidacy requirement such as not being overweight or not consuming excessive alcohol and anything else that your surgeon seeks for, you probably in need of a total knee replacement surgery.
When the pain in the knee region becomes unbearable, and there is no other alternative remedy for the patient's complications, total knee replacement procedure should be considered.
Individuals who suffer from obesity, clotting or infectious diseases, cancer, muscle weakness or any problems related to heart, kidney, and lungs are not suitable for total knee replacement.
Although knee replacement surgeries have become so much common, there are still risks as in every surgical procedure. Fortunately, over 90% of patients who undergo knee replacement surgery have good results, without any complications. However, before undergoing a total knee replacement surgery, you need to understand the potential risks such as blood clots, blood loss, infection or stiffness of a knee replacement. This is another important requirement of being a good candidate.
Knee joint replacement is performed under general anesthesia, and it takes 1 to 2 hours. During the surgery, your surgeon usually makes an 8- to 10-inch cut in the front of the knee. Then removes the damaged part of the joint and the surfaces of the thigh bone. Once the removal part is done, the surgeon implants the artificial knee. Or your surgeon may use a minimally invasive surgical technique, in which the cut is shorter as around 4 to 6 inches, and this will result in less damage to muscle and tendon. Generally, thin, young, and healthy patients are a good candidate for this technique.
After the procedure is done, the patients usually need to stay in the hospital for around 5 days. During this time, the physician may prescribe some painkillers to release the pain. Post operatory pain is very common after the surgery. The orthopedic surgeon can also prescribe other medications to prevent some complications such as blood clots. The patients can stop taking their medications only at the doctor’s recommendation. In 3-6 weeks, you may shop for groceries, get up from a chair easily, and do many things that were difficult to do before the surgery. You should let your doctor know about any pain or discomfort that bothers you.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in 2023.
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