Arthroplasty is one of the surgical procedures employed to restore the functioning of joints. Resurfacing the bones can rehabilitate a joint. It is also possible to use a prosthetic joint, or an artificial joint.
The joints may be impacted by different types of arthritis. The most prevalent reason for arthroplasty is osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, which is characterised by a loss of cartilage or cushion in a joint.
When medical treatments are no longer able to address joint pain and impairment, arthroplasty may be employed. Before having an arthroplasty, patients with osteoarthritis may try some of the following medical treatments:
- Antibiotics and painkillers.
- Taking painkillers.
- Restricting pain-inducing activities.
- Assistive walking equipment (such as a cane).
- Physical exercise.
- Injections of visco supplementation and cortisone into the knee joint (to add lubrication into the joint to make joint movement less painful).
- Loss of weight (for obese people).
- Training and exercise.
Patients who underwent Arthroplasty are reported to typically have a significant increase in their quality of life, activity level, and joint pain.
Ankle, elbow, shoulder, and finger surgeries are performed less frequently than hip and knee surgeries. The doctor’s recommendation for arthroplasty could also be based on other factors.
Risks associated with Arthroplasty:
There is always a chance for complications during surgery. Complications that could arise include:
- Bleeding \ Infection.
- A blood clot in the lung or in the legs.
- Loss of prosthetic components.
In the surgical area, blood vessels or nerves may sustain damage. As a result, you can feel weak or numb. Surgery may not be able to completely restore function or reduce the joint pain.
Depending on your particular medical condition, there can be additional dangers. Prior to the treatment, make sure to share any queries you may have with your healthcare professional.
How to prepare for Arthroplasty:
- Your Doctor will walk you through the treatment and give you an overview of the procedure in advance. Later, you will be required to sign a consent form giving the go-ahead for the procedure. If something on the form is unclear, thoroughly read it and then ask questions.
- Before the procedure, your doctor may do a thorough physical exam in addition to taking a thorough medical history to make sure you are in good health. You can be subjected to diagnostic procedures like blood tests.
- Inform your doctor if you have any sensitivity to or allergies to any medications, latex, tape, or anaesthetics (local and general).All prescription and non-prescription medications, as well as herbal supplements, should be disclosed to your healthcare professional.
- If you have a history of bleeding disorders, are on any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications, aspirin, or other medications that alter blood clotting, let your doctor know. You might have to stop using these medications before the operation.
- Before the treatment, usually after midnight, you will be required to fast for eight hours. Before the surgery, you can be given a sedative to help you unwind. A physiotherapist may visit with you before surgery to talk about recovery.
- After you leave the hospital, make arrangements for someone to assist you around the house for a week or two. Your doctor might ask you to do some other tests to prepare, depending on your medical situation.
During the Procedure:
A hospital stay is necessary after an arthroplasty. Depending on your situation and the methods used by your healthcare professional, procedures could change.
You can have arthroplasty while you’re unconscious under general anaesthesia or while you’re awake under local anaesthetic. In advance, your anesthesiologist will go through this with you.
- Your arm or hand might be used to start an intravenous (IV) line.
- Your position on the operating table will be adjusted to provide the surgeon the best possible access to the joint that has to be operated on.
- Throughout the procedure, the anesthesiologist will keep a close eye on your breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen level.
- An antiseptic solution will be used to clean the skin surrounding the surgery site and a cut will be made near the joint.
- The surgeon will either remove or repair the joint’s damaged components. Later, with surgical staples or stitches, the incision will be closed. It will be covered with a sterile bandage or dressing.
You will be brought to the recovery area for observation following the procedure. You will be shifted to your hospital room as soon as your breathing, blood pressure, and pulse have stabilised and you are awake. Having an arthroplasty typically requires a few days in the hospital.
After surgery, it’s crucial to start moving the new joint. Soon after your surgery, a physical therapist will visit with you to discuss your exercise and physiotherapy needs. You will be given medication to manage your discomfort so you may engage in the workout regimen. You’ll be given an exercise schedule to stick to while you’re in the hospital and after you’re released.
You might benefit from making some house improvements as you recover. The following are some of these changes:
- Enough handrails on all stairways.
- Handholds for safety in the shower or bath.
- Shower chair or bench.
- An elevated toilet seat.
- Stable chair with two arms, a firm back, and a firm seat cushion. This will enable you to arrange your knees lower than your hips.
- Sponge with a long handle and a shower hose.
- Dressing rod.
- Sock help.
- Extended shoe horn.
- Sticking out an arm to grab things.
- When seated, use firm pillows to lift the hips over the knees.
- Taking out any electrical cables and loose carpeting that could trip you.
Report any of the following to your healthcare provider:
- Cold or fever.
- Bruising, bleeding, or other discharge at the site of the incision.
- More discomfort near the incision site.
- Tingling or numbness in the afflicted extremity.
- Unless your doctor advises you otherwise, you can resume your regular diet.