Recommended For Knee Replacement
Knee replacement surgery is recommended for patients suffering from: ● Rheumatoid arthritis ● Psoriatic arthritis ● Knee structure deformity from trauma or disease ● Ligament tears ● Cartilage tears ● Meniscus tears
Not Recommended For Knee Replacement
It is not suggested to perform knee replacement surgery for the patients who are suffering from cancer, peripheral vascular diseases, lung, kidney or heart problems, obesity, muscle weakness, and infections or clotting diseases.
Discharge From Hospital
Patient is required to stay 2 to 5 nights in the hospital
Duration Of Operation
1 to 3 hours
1 to 2 weeks
Knee replacement surgery, also called knee arthroplasty, is a very common orthopedic operation all around the world. In 2014, more than 720.000 surgeries were performed in the USA. Knee replacement surgery’s main purpose is to ease the painfrom psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. Patients who are suffering from advanced rheumatoid arthritis are more likely to experience the complications of knee replacement surgery. In the conditions of ligament tears, certain cartilage defects, and meniscus tears, knee replacement surgery can be performed as well.
There are alternative treatments for the knee replacement procedure; however, the suitability of the patients is dependent on their medical condition. Alternative treatments involve:
● Weight loss as a means to reduce pressure on the knees
● Arthroscopic knee surgery, also known as minimally invasive knee surgery
● Hyaluronic acid knee injections
● Stem cells for knee treatment
For at least two weeks before the knee replacement operation, the patient should avoid taking aspirin and immunosuppressive drugs. Also, the patient should stop smoking before the surgery since it might interrupt the recovery period and increase the risk of complications. In addition, alcohol consumption might have an influence on anesthesia. Therefore, it should be avoided before the surgery as well.
How It Is Performed
Knee replacement surgery can be performed in two different ways, which are total knee replacement surgery and partial knee replacement surgery.
There are three main cartilage structures in the knee, which are the lateral, the medial, and the patellofemoral.Based on the number of damaged cartilage structures, the patient can opt for a total knee replacement or a partial knee replacement. Between 10% to 30% of patients opt for a partial knee replacement – this procedure requires a smaller initial incision; a shorter hospital stay and has a lower risk of developing complications.
When the method of surgery is chosen, surgeons can start performing the operation.After general anesthesia starts showing its effect, surgeons make an incision in the middle of the knee. Then, the knee is positioned in a 90 degrees angle for the surgeon to see the operation area clearly. After that, surgeons remove the damaged structures and restructure the bone in order to prepare it for the prosthesis.The knee replacement can be attached to the patella, tibia, or femur. After applying bone cement, surgeons monitor the mobility of the operated knee if it is thought to be adequate then surgeons close the incision site and the recovery period starts.
After the operation patient should stay at the hospital for 4 days. A couple of days after the operation, with the assistance of walking aids patient, can walk and sit. The regular recovery period of knee replacement operation is about 6 weeks.
Approximately nine out of ten patients experience a sudden relief from pain in the knee area after surgery. After the surgery, it is crucial to contact with a physical therapist, and for 2 months, the patient should see the physical therapist to follow the instructions.
There are several risks and complications of the knee replacement procedure, which are complications as a result of anesthesia, scarring, infection, loose or misaligned prosthesis components and scar tissue, which affects knee mobility.
The possibility of experiencing complications after knee replacement surgery is around 1%.
Side effects of knee replacement operation involve bruising, nausea from anesthesia, knee pain, bleeding, discomfort, and dizziness.
There is a 95% success rate of knee replacement surgery based on its reviews. Around 90% of prosthesis last 10 years and 80% last more than 20 years before requiring revision surgery.
- Knee replacement pain - how long does it last?
Back To Work
Even though the knee replacement operation itself is not painful, during the recovery period from the knee replacement surgery and physical therapy sessions, patients might experience pain and discomfort, which would last for about 4 days.
- Can I exercise after knee surgery?
The patient may engage in low impact exercises or sports such as swimming or golfing in around 2-3 months after the surgery. Jogging, tennis, and basketball should be avoided.
- When can I return to work?
After the operation, patients are mostly able to go back to work in around 2-4 weeks.
2 to 4 weeks
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in August, 2019.