What is Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee Replacement Surgery is one of the most common bone surgeries in India. Research says, every 9 out of 10 patients of Knee Replacement experienced significant improvement in daily pain and quality of life.

When the knee is damaged to an unrepairable extend, the damaged portion is replaced with some artificial parts to keep on the daily works. Severe Knee damage is often associated with stiffness and severe pain that makes regular work like getting up from the chair, climbing a stair or even walking hard to impossible. There is knee swelling, pain,bowing.The pain may exist even during test.

In Arthroplasty or Knee Replacement, the ends of the knee bones from the knee joint are surgically covered with metal part with high density plastic material in between  Severe knee injury or severe arthritis is the most common causes of this surgery.

Partial Knee replacement

Unlike total replacement, in Partial Knee Replacement, only the portion of the knee that is damaged is replaced using comparatively small incision. This procedure can be done with lesser blood loss and with less area of bone-involvement. Another advantage of partial replacement is a rapid recovery.

Bilateral Knee replacement

This surgery is also known as simultaneous bilateral knee replacement when both the knees are operated at the same time.

Staged Bilateral Total Knee Replacement is when the knees are operated one by one with a gap of several months. The gap is dependent on the individual patient’s condition but in general, 3 months of time is minimum required.

When you finally know it’s the time for surgery?

One must know the point where a total knee replacement surgery just becomes inevitable:

  • The pain is so strong that it makes even slightest movements seems impossible & Painful.
  • The knee is structurally deformed
  • The nagging pain is so persistent that it does not let the patient sleep as well
  • The knee is severely swollen
  • Last but not the least, none of the popular medication and physical therapy has worked for the person

How to get prepared for total knee replacement?

  • First, every patient’s medical history is checked and the micro details of the surgery are determined
  • Then, the patient will go under the x-ray test and multiple blood tests. The x-ray will show the exact condition of the knee.
  • The doctor must know on which medications the patients are already on, especially if the medicines include drugs, aspirins and Anticoagulant.
  • If patient has a history of blood clot, infection and excessive bleeding, appropriate precautions should be taken beforehand.
  • The patient should not eat anything 8 hours before the operation.

Procedures and restrictions during knee replacement

An average stay at the hospital for Arthroscopic Knee Surgery is 1 to 4 days. An intravenous line (IV) in the arm vein is generally created for serving fluids and medicines during and immediately after the operation. The skin where the cut will be done must get rid of any skin hair. The knee surgery approximately takes 1 to 4 hours.

Both the total knee replacement surgery and partial knee replacement are done by spinal anaesthesia. Usually, few partial knee replacements are done by spinal/epidural anaesthesia as well. With this procedure below waist part will become numb.

After surgery care

The doctor usually makes you stand on your feet within 1-2 days of the operation. The first few weeks to a couple of months depending on the patient’s condition can go upon crutches, cane or walker.

Within a month, generally the primary recovery is done and the patient can experience significant improvement in flexibility and pain.

What are the risk factors of a total knee replacement?

  • During the procedure, blood may clot in the knee and that can attack the lung
  • Pulmonary embolism that is blockage of lung arteries can cause shortness of breath, chest pain.
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Bleeding from the knee joint
  • Stiffness in the knee and chronic knee pain
  • Blood vessel injury

For smooth recovery and least post-operative complications, the joints related to the hip, ankle and knee are carefully examined. The operated knee may require surgery later after years due to form related wear & tear of implant.

 

Content Reviewed By: Dr. Mrinal Sharma