Total knee replacement is performed to treat and to restore the function of painful, disabled knee joints. The affected knee joints are replaced by artificial knee joints, a combination of metal and plastic. These are available in various designs. The metal meets the end of the bones and a plastic spacer acts as a buffer between them.
Details of Procedures:
Total knee replacement is recommended when severe knee pain:
- Disrupts night sleep
- Is insensitive to other treatments
- Limits usual activities
The pain and limited function of the knee could be because of:
- Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
- Avascular necrosis
- Accidental injuries to knee joints
Facts & Figures:
- The knee is one of the strongest, largest, and most complex joints of the body. A man of 70kg applies about 210kg force on the knee while playing football, basketball, and running.
- About 270,000 knee replacements surgeries are performed each year in the USA. About 70% of these patients are age 65+
- The first artificial knee implants inspired by successful hip replacement surgery were tried in the 1940s and, currently, it is one of the most successful surgeries in the modern era.
- 95% of the patients experience relief from the symptoms due to its high success rate.
- It not only provides relief from joint pain but also increases leg strength and mobility for about 10 to 15 years
- It improves the quality of life by allowing the patient to participate in activities which were restricted prior to surgery.
- Unwanted stiffness of joint and loss of knee motion.
- Patellar complications can occur
Risk and Complications:
- Loosening of the prosthesis from the bone
- Excessive scarring
- Medicinal or anesthesia reaction
- Complete physical examination
- Blood and urinalysis
- ECG and x-ray chest for the patient above 50 years
- Consult with the surgeon week prior and get the correct medicinal prescriptions.
- Inform the surgeon about smoking and alcohol habits.
- Visit a physiotherapist to understand the post-surgery rehabilitation program and using crutches.
- Plan for leave from work and domestic help at home.
- Don’t consume anything after midnight before surgery.
- Medical tourists are advised to wear comfortable clothes and to select a handicap-accessible hotel room for recovery after getting a discharge from hospital
- Patients need to wear special compression stockings to improve blood flow in legs for proper healing.
- Starlight activities using crutches or a walker from the first day after surgery, and physiotherapy 48 hours later.
- Carry out exercises regularly as per instructed by the physiotherapist for the best results.
- Normal recovery after surgery is seen within 7 to 10 days.
The patient will get discharged from the hospital only after the following criteria are met:
- Able to bend the knee at a 900 angle
- Get out of bed without any support
- Able to extend knee straight out
- Can walk using crutches or walker
- Carry on prescribed home exercises
Do’s and don’ts:
- Strictly follow the diet regime
- Take prescribed medicines as per schedule
- Exercise regularly as advised by the physiotherapist
- Early mobilization will help strengthen the knee muscles
- Don’t bathe until the sutures or staples are removed.