Knee replacement surgery, commonly referred to as knee arthroplasty, can help treat painful knee joints and bring back their function. The damaged thigh bone, shinbone, and kneecap are cut during the treatment, and the injured bone and cartilage are replaced with an artificial joint (prosthesis) comprised of metal alloys, premium plastics, and polymers.
The knee’s range of motion, stability, and strength are evaluated by an orthopaedic surgeon to determine whether a knee replacement is the best option for an individual or not. Doctors use X-rays to assess the degree of damage.
Depending on your age, weight, amount of activity, knee size and shape, and general health, your doctor may recommend one of several knee replacement prostheses and surgical approaches.
Knee replacement surgery is generally performed to address extreme osteoarthritis-related pain. The majority of people who require knee replacement surgery struggle to walk, climb stairs, and get in and out of chairs. Some people may have knee pain even while they are not moving.
Risks of Knee-replacement Surgery:
Like any procedure, knee replacement surgery carries risks with it. The risks include:
- Lungs or leg vein blood clots.
- Chest pain.
- Nerve damage.
- Higher than 100 F fever (37.8 C)
- Chills shaking
- Redness, tenderness, swelling, and discomfort in the knee getting worse.
- Surgery to remove the artificial components, and medications to kill the bacteria are typically necessary for an infected knee replacement. A second surgery is performed to place a new knee after the infection has been treated.
- The failure of the prosthetic joint is an additional danger of knee replacement surgery. Even the toughest metal and plastic components become damaged with daily use. If you put stress on the joint with high-impact activities or excess weight, your risk of joint failure increases.
- You could be advised not to take specific drugs and nutritional supplements before surgery by your doctor or anesthesiologist. The day of your surgery, you’ll probably be told not to eat anything after midnight.
- Knee replacements typically reduce pain, increase mobility, and enhance overall quality of life for patients. Additionally, the majority of knee replacements should live longer than 15 years.
- You can often resume the majority of daily activities, including shopping and light house cleaning, three to six weeks after surgery. Around three weeks after surgery, you may be able to drive if you can bend your knee far enough to sit in a car, have sufficient muscular control to use the brakes and accelerator, and are not currently using painkillers.
- You can take part in a variety of low-impact activities after you’ve recovered, such as riding, walking, swimming, golfing, or tennis. However, you should stay away from activities with a higher impact, such as jogging, skiing, tennis, and sports involving contact or jumping.
Process before Knee Replacement Surgery:
- Your doctor will walk you through the process and give you the chance to ask any questions you may have about it.
- 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 having the operation, your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination in addition to taking a thorough medical history. You can be subjected to diagnostic procedures like blood tests.
- Inform your doctor if you have any sensitivity to or allergies to any drugs, latex, tape, or anaesthetics (local and general).
- Inform your physician of all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements you are taking.
- If you have a history of bleeding issues, are currently taking aspirin or other blood clotting-related drugs, or any other medications, let your doctor know. You might have to stop using these medications before the operation.
- You should let your doctor know if you are pregnant or think you might be.
- Eight hours of fasting will be required prior to the surgery, which will usually take place after midnight.
- Before the surgery, you can be given a sedative to help you unwind.
- A physical therapist 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 something else unique to prepare depending on your medical situation.
During the procedure
- Having a knee replacement necessitates a hospital stay. Depending on your situation and your doctor’s methods, the procedures could change.
- The majority of the time, knee replacement surgery is done while you are unconscious and under general anaesthetic. In advance, your anesthesiologist will go through this with you..
In general, knee replacement surgery proceeds as follows:
- After being instructed to take off your clothes, you’ll be handed a gown to wear.
- Your arm or hand might be used to start an intravenous (IV) line.
- Your position on the surgical table will be determined.
- One option is to place a urinary catheter.
- At the surgery location, extra hair may be cut off if necessary.
- 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.
- The region around the knee will be cut by the physician.
- The damaged knee joint surfaces will be removed by the doctor, and the prosthesis will be used to resurface the knee joint, which is made up of the knee prosthetic. A cemented prosthesis is the most popular style of artificial knee replacement as the Uncemented prosthesis are no longer often used. Using surgical cement, a prosthesis is glued to the bone. A porous surface on an uncemented prosthesis allows the bone to develop in order to affix to the prosthesis.
- The prosthesis typically consists of three parts: the patellar component, the femoral [thigh bone] component, and the tibial component, which resurfaces the top of the tibia, or shin bone (to resurface the bottom of the kneecap that rubs against the thigh bone).
- With surgical staples or stitches, the incision will be closed.
- To drain fluid from the wound, a drain may be inserted there. It will be covered with a sterile bandage or dressing.
After the Procedure:
You will be brought to the recovery area for observation following the procedure. You will be brought to your hospital room as soon as your breathing, blood pressure, and pulse have stabilised and you are awake. Having knee replacement surgery typically necessitates a few days of hospitalisation.
After surgery, it’s crucial to start using the new joint. Soon after your surgery, a physical therapist will visit with you to discuss your activity needs. To start the physical therapy, a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine could be employed. While you are lying in bed, this machine rotates your replacement knee joint through its range of motion. Medication will be administered to manage your pain so you can exercise.