Knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery is a fairly common procedure for arthritis in the West. In India, almost 70,000 joint replacement surgeries are being performed every year. Even then, there is an ambiguity among patients when it comes to this treatment. Read further to know more about Knee Replacement:

What is Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement or arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to replace a worn out, diseased, or damaged knee with an artificial joint. Joints that have long borne the effects of arthritis become very weak to an extent that patient may experience pain even while resting.

The Need for Knee Replacement:

Knee replacement is suggested when all other treatment options fail and the patient continues to experience debilitating pain. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are common conditions that lead to damage to the joint cartilage. Some other problems that could potentially lead to knee damage and replacement include, hemophilia, gout, avascular necrosis, and even a deformity in the knee. Before suggesting surgery, the doctor would have advised medications, physical therapy, nutritional supplements, weight loss, and even arthroscopic surgery. You are likely to be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, acetaminophens and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroid injections. Some patients are prescribed nutritional supplements like glucosamine, chondroitin, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and more. In extreme cases, your knee may even give away because of the unstable joints.

Types of Knee Replacement Surgery:

There are two different types of knee replacement surgeries viz. total knee replacement and partial or half knee replacement. The former includes replacing both sides of the knee joints while the later replaces only one side of the joint.

Risks of Performing Knee Replacement Surgery:

Some complications may occur as a result of this surgery. Doctors will ensure that you make an informed choice by explaining about possible complications. They include loosening out of the prosthesis, infection, fracture, etc. You may experience numbness for some time until the nerves around the injured area recover. Make sure that you discuss with the doctor about any preexisting condition that could affect the outcome of the procedure.

The Procedure:

Doctors always encourage patients to discuss the surgery and ask questions, if any. This helps them ease anxiety and tension. The doctors may start with preliminary investigations like blood tests, x-rays, checking for allergies, etc. Although a typical knee replacement surgery may require weeks of medical intervention, procedures vary according to the type of surgery performed. During the procedure, you’ll have to stay in the hospital for a few days after the surgery. You’ll be prescribed physiotherapy exercises. Remember to inform the doctor about anything unusual- this could include fever, redness in or surrounding the operated site, increased pain, etc.

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