10 Answers to Questions About Knee Replacement Surgery

10 Answers to Questions About Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery has become a common orthopedic procedure these days. When cartilage inside the knee joint starts to break away, the person experience pain which limits the motion. There are a number of options to treat a painful knee. Medications and physiotherapy are the first to-go treatment options, but in severe cases, a knee replacement is the only solution.

Total knee replacement surgery will involve replacing the parts of the knee joint – the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) with an implant. The surgeon then inserts a plastic bearing between the bones where cartilage normally exist.

Below are the most common questions and answers that knee patients want to know about knee replacement surgery.

1.  What causes the knee cartilage to break down?

A guy has a pain in the knee

There are multiple numbers of reasons that can cause knee pain and cartilage to tear. Some of the most common ones are arthritis, an injury to the knee, inflammatory arthritis, and risk factors such as obesity.

2.  How is a candidate selected for a knee replacement surgery?

Patients who are able to walk on level ground without much difficulty might not be good candidates for knee replacement surgery. Patients in their late fifties or older may be better candidates for knee replacement surgery. However, with improved medical technology, younger patients could also be good candidates for the surgery. Those are usually the people who don’t respond well to the nonsurgical procedures. Before going for a  knee replacement surgery, patient should go to physiotherapy and have a balanced diet. Due to obesity, the excess weight puts a lot of stress on the knees, and reducing weight will help in managing the symptoms even before surgery. Physical therapy and exercise help in improving and strengthening the muscles of the knee, resulting in fewer pain symptoms.

3.  I’ve lost weight and did physical therapy, the pain is still there, what now?

When all the non-operative options do not work, patients should consult an orthopedic surgeon to discuss the knee replacement surgery. During the consultation with the doctor, the usual things discussed include the symptoms, a couple of strength and ligamental tests, as well as a few X-rays. The doctor will then discuss the benefits and risks of the surgery.

4.  What’s the difference between partial knee replacement and total knee replacement?

A partial knee replacement is performed on patients that might be having intact ligaments and feels pain in the inner portion of the knee. If the surgery is done on that inner a portion of the knee, known as the medial compartment, it can result in relief of symptoms. The patient might not need an entire knee joint’s surgery also, thus its name is partial knee replacement. All types of knee replacements surgeries involve a resurfacing or replacement of the knee’s cartilage. Which type of surgery is required usually depends on the amount of damage that already exists in the knee. The treating surgeon will be the to makes this decision. They will explain everything about the type of surgery to the patient beforehand.

5.  Are there different surgical techniques for total knee replacement?

 Yes, there are a number of surgical techniques. They include robotic-assisted surgery and computer-navigated surgery. The minimally invasive surgery allows the patient to heal faster and to have shorter hospitalization. Patients also endure less post-operative pain and less discomfort.

6.  What is the total amount of time it takes to complete the surgery?

An X-ray of deformed knees

The procedure usually last around 1 hour. The amount of time that the patient requires staying in the hospital roughly depends on their recovery. General patients are able to recover well in 48-64 hours after the surgery and are then discharged. Other than this, they should rest for about 4 weeks post-surgery, with minimal movement. However, this time depends on the surgery technique.

7.  What are the side effects of the surgery?

Every surgery has a risk. Around 1% of all the healthy patients might experience a cardiovascular event, including a heart attack or stroke. Lesser number of people might end up having an infection after a knee replacement surgery. These side effects are pretty uncommon and fairly easy to manage. One bigger problem after the surgery is the buyer’s remorse. People end up still having pain in their knees, and thinking that getting the surgery done was a bad idea. The doctors usually categorize the patients before and give them appropriate counseling to manage these outcomes better.

8.  How long does it take to recover after knee replacement surgery in India?

Every human has a different recovery time, but for most of the patients, the doctors expect them to start walking in around 4 weeks after the surgery. The initial walking still requires a cane or walkers. They shouldn’t bend their knee to or beyond 90 degrees.

9.  Will the patient be able to get back to a physically active lifestyle?

running with knee bandage

Most patients report that their knee feels better than how it felt before the surgery. Low impacting activities such as walking, hiking, biking, or playing golf are an optimal solution that enables patients to maintain an active lifestyle. The patients won’t be able to practice high impact activities such as basketball or running.

10. What is the success rate of the surgery?

Around 85 to 90 percent of all knee replacement surgeries are successful. These implants remain good for approximately 10 to 15 years, depending on the activity level of the patient. After this, a revision surgery might also be an option.

We hope this article was useful to you, and if you’re reading this article to gather info on your upcoming knee replacement surgery, we wish you a quick recovery. After it’s all over, don’t forget to have a balanced diet and practice low impact physical activities that we talked about above.