Knee replacement surgery, commonly referred to as knee arthroplasty, is a widespread orthopaedic surgery. This surgery is performed to treat the defects of knee cartilage caused by disease, damage or injury. Knee replacement surgery consists of two main procedures. These operations are total knee replacement and partial knee replacement. Around 70% of patients opt for total knee replacement surgery.
When is Total Knee Replacement necessary?
Our knee consists of three parts – the lateral, the medical and the patellofemoral. If all the parts are severely damaged, total knee arthroplasty surgery is needed. The possible damages can include meniscus tears, cartilage tears and ligament tears. In addition, certain types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid and post-traumatic arthritis are prevalent reasons of knee pain and disability.
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.
Most of the candidates of total knee replacement surgery are around the age of 50 to 80, but the procedure can be done at all ages with the doctor’s consent.
How is Total Knee Replacement Performed?
Total knee replacement or knee joint replacement requires a preparation phase. First, the doctor will determine whether you are a good candidate for this surgery. At least 2 weeks before, patients need to abstain from smoking, consuming alcohol, immunosuppressive or anticoagulant drugs. During the operation, the patient is anaesthetized and the surgeon removes the damaged cartilage to replace it with new implants. This procedure lasts between 1 and 2 hours. After the surgery is done and the recovery period is over, the patient’s knee problems and symptoms should disappear.
What to expect after Total Knee Replacement?
After the procedure is done, the patients usually need to stay in hospital 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 orthopaedic 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.
Recovery After Total Knee Replacement
- After knee arthroscopy, you will be able to walk in 1 or 2 days. Most patients will completely recover in about 6 weeks. This means they can perform their daily activities, but at the beginning, they will need to use walking equipment. During the total knee replacement recovery time, it is important to take some precautions to prevent knee injuries.
- The stitches will take several weeks to heal. To help with the healing process, the patients need to keep them dry and avoid clothes friction by applying medical bandages. A healthy diet is also highly recommended in the recovery period.
- Exercise is one of the key factors to strengthen the muscles. The rehabilitation can be performed at home or at physical therapy facilities. It is recommended to follow rigorously the physical therapist’s instructions, otherwise the joints can dislocate.
- In most cases, patient’s new implants last for around 20 years. It is possible to use the new prosthesis for a long period by simply paying attention to your general health and knee health. It can be stated that 90% people are satisfied with the results of total knee replacement.