Knee Replacement Surgery
When do I need a knee replacement?
You may think about knee replacement surgery if you have a stiff, painful knee that makes it complicated to perform even the simplest of activities after other methods of cure have failed. This surgery is generally reserved for people over the age of 50 with severe osteoarthritis.
What are the risks involved?
Before you opt for knee replacement, you should speak to your surgeon at length about any problems or aspirations that you may have. You must gain knowledge of all the risks involved as they differ with every patient and your surgeon will be able to explain to you what they are in your case. Your surgeon is available to you for any questions or concerns that you may have.
After knee replacement, certain activities may be prohibited, such as squatting, lunges or certain forms of exercise. Please ask your doctor about activities that must be avoided in your case.
How is knee replacement done?
Once the anesthesia is administered into your body, an 8 to 12 inch cut is made on the knee. The affected part of the joint is detached from the surface of the bones, and the surfaces are then shaped to grip a metal or plastic joint. The artificial joint is attached to the thighbone, shin and knee cap either using cement or other adhesive material. In due time, the attached artificial parts form the joint, relying on the surrounding muscles and ligaments for support and function.
What happens in the recovery period after the surgery?
Post-operative hospitalization goes up to seven days on average, depending on the health condition of the patient.
- 24 hours: Patients are encouraged to start exercises in bed.
- 2nd Day: Drain from the joint is removed and the dressing is reduced in size Patients are made to sit on bedside with legs supported.
- 3rd day: Patient is encouraged to stand and walk using a walker and a day or two later, they are able to visit the toilet, with assistance, using a high seat.
- 5th Day: patient is discharged from the hospital with instructions as regards to medicine and physiotherapy.
- 2 weeks: Stitches are removed.
- 3 weeks: patient is encouraged to walk with a walking stick.
- 4-6 weeks: Patients are trained to start climbing stairs.
- 12 weeks: One can usually begin driving vehicles with due precautions.
What precautions must I take after the surgery?
- Do not twist or pivot the operated leg after knee replacement.
- Keep the operated knee as straight as possible and avoid kneeling or squatting.
- Make sure not to sit in a low chair. Do not sit cross-legged or in any way that may put strain on the joint.
- Avoid climbing stairs. The necessary arrangements should be made so that you will only have to go up and down the steps once or twice a day.
- A firm, straight-back chair is very helpful in adhering to these joint precautions. Recliners should not be used.
- Arrange your room's furniture so that it is free from loose objects that may cause you to fall.
- Keep enthusiastic pets away as they may cause you to fall, or put pressure on the joint.
- Consult your doctor before starting any major physical activity, such as driving, sexual intercourse and exercise.
- Your Physiotherapist will give you the techniques and adaptive equipment that will help you perform daily activities. Precautions must be followed strictly, as reckless use may lead to the dislocation of your newly replaced joint.
How long will my new knee last?
Earlier joint replacements lasted for an average of 10 years, however, recent developments have allowed 85% of knee replacements to last 20 years or more.