Knee Replacement, or Knee Arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to replace weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint so as to relieve pain & disability. It is generally done for osteoarthritis & to treat knee diseases like rheumatoid & psoriatic arthritis. Knee replacement surgery can be partial or a total knee replacement. This surgery replaces the diseased or damaged joint surfaces with metal & plastic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee. This surgery is very popular among patients aged over 60 with millions of patients around the world undergoing successful knee replacement surgery every year. Procedure results of this surgery last for at-least 15 to 20 years, considering that proper care is taken. Nearly all patients who undergo knee replacement surgery experience significant decrease in knee pain along with improved abilities.
Why is Knee Replacement Surgery Needed?
Doctors may consider knee replacement surgery if the patient has stiff & painful knees that make it difficult to perform everyday activities & if alternative treatments have not been effective. This surgery is best suggested for people over age 50 with severe osteoarthritis. Total knee replacement is also an ideal option to correct significant knee joint or bone trauma in young patients. Similarly, total knee replacement can be performed so as to correct mild valgus or varus deformities. Serious valgus or varus deformities can be corrected by osteotomy. Physical therapy helps improve function & may delay or prevent the need for knee replacement. Pain is typically felt while doing a variety of activities involving wide range of motion in the knee joint.
Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries
- Total Knee Replacement
Doctors suggest total knee replacement surgery if all three of the joint’s compartments are damaged. The bottom of the femur is resurfaced & fitted with a metalic piece.
- Partial Knee Replacement
In partial knee replacement surgery the doctor resurfaces only one or two compartments of the knee. Surgeons spare as much of the healthy tissue & bone as possible. Depending on the number of surfaces damaged this surgery may be uni-compartmental & which replaces one compartment of the knee, bi-compartmental which replaces two compartments or patellofemora surgery replaces the end of the thigh bone with a metal piece & resurfaces the back of the kneecap (patella).
Risks with Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery may incur risks like –
- Blood clots in leg vein or lungs
- Heart attack
- Nerve damage
Signs of Infection
The doctor should be consulted immediately if the patient has –
- Fever greater than 100 F (37.8 C)
- Drainage from the surgical site
- Increasing redness, tenderness, swelling & pain in the knee
An infected knee replacement requires cleaning of artificial parts & antibiotics to kill bacteria. After the infection is cleared, another surgery is performed in order to install a new knee. Knee replacement surgery also carries possible failure of the artificial joint. The patient is at a greater risk of joint failure if more stress is put on the joint involving high-impact activities or lifting excessive weight.
Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery
The following could be the possible alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery –
- Specialized Braces
- Cartilage Transplantation
- Uni-Compartmental Arthroplasty
- Arthrodesis or Knee Fusion
Recent Advances in Knee Replacement Surgery
Minimally invasive surgery has revolutionized knee replacement surgery. The surgeon performs major surgery without large incisions. Minimally invasive knee joint replacement surgery requires a much smaller incision, about 3 to 5 inches. This smaller, less invasive approach results in lower damage to tissue, leading to less pain, less recovery time & good motion due to less of scar tissue formation.
What Happens After Knee Replacement Surgery?
After knee replacement surgery the patient is kept under observation for a few days before going home. Surgeons will suggest & encourage moving foot & ankle, which increases blood flow to leg muscles, thereby preventing swelling & blood clots. Therapist guidance will help patients exercise the new knee. Following surgeon’s advice is very important since it will increase or decrease recovery time. Proper diet, exercise & physical activity should also be maintained. Walking is encouraged so as to increase mobility & slowly resume other normal activities. Knee-strengthening exercises should also be done so as to gain muscle strength.
Is Knee Replacement Surgery Safe?
Knee joint replacement is an old surgical technique & has improved with time. However, some minor complications may exist. Since movement is restricted; blood clot is a significant concern. Doctors usually recommend blood thinners in order to help prevent this menace. Infection & bleeding is likely, as are the risks associated while using general anesthesia.
Other problems can also happen like the following –
- Fat in the bone marrow may become loose, enter the bloodstream & into the lungs, which can cause serious breathing problems.
- Nerves in the knee area may be injured from swelling or pressure & can cause some numbness.
- Other bones may get injured during surgery, thereby delaying the recovery time.
- Replacement parts may become loose or break.
Benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery relieves the patient of all the pain & hardship caused in day to day activity. Total knee replacement largely restores leg motion range & improves mobility. When a person is no longer burdened by chronic, debilitating pain & joint motion has been vastly improved, the quality of life is invariably enhanced to a greater level.
Why Choose Knee Replacement Surgery in India?
India offers economical & affordable knee replacement surgeries. India also provides with the best healthcare facilities & services which are at par with international standards. Moreover, these hospitals have qualified surgeons & trained staff on 24X7 emergency care so as to address every need of the patient. Considering the cost effectiveness factor, India emerges to be the most favourite global hot-spot destination to treat & cure knee joint problems. Every year thousands of people from around the world arrive in India & undergo successful knee surgeries. India being connected to major international cities, offer medical travellers a hassle free medical journey. Patients can opt to get treated at any of the hospitals located across major cities like Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Kerala, Delhi, Chennai, & Kolkata.Leave a reply →