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What’s Knee Replacement Surgery?

by Gauri Kolhe

One of the most influential and popular orthopedic procedures in modern times is knee replacement. Most patients claim decreased or eliminated knee pain, better mobility, and improved quality of life after knee replacement surgery.

What exactly is knee replacement surgery?

During a knee replacement procedure, sections of the bones that generally make up the knee joint are cut out, and artificial implants are inserted in their place ( metal or plastic parts). It is a safe and effective technique, and it is often referred to as knee arthroplasty.

What are the many kinds of knee replacement surgeries?

  • Total knee replacement (TKR): It is a procedure that replaces both knee joints at the same time. It is the method that is used the most often.

The duration of the surgery ranges from one to three hours. Scar tissue will develop, making it more difficult for the client to move and bend their knees.

  • Partial knee replacement: “partial knee replacement” refers to the procedure in which just one side of the knee joint is replaced. It requires a smaller incision since less bone has to be removed, but the results do not endure as long as those of a total replacement.

People who have suffered an injury to just a portion of their knee may be candidates for PKR. In most cases, the only people who can benefit from partial knee replacement are younger individuals with only problems in one area of their knee.

  • Alternative operations: Depending on the circumstances, there may be a variety of other surgeries that can be performed on you. These treatments include kneecap replacement, image-guided surgery, patient-specific knee replacement, and mini-incision surgery.

Who needs to have knee replacement surgery?

If any of the following apply, you should think about having a knee replacement surgery performed:

  • Joint surfaces in the knee have been extensively destroyed by arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, or a knee injury.
  • You have difficulty doing activities of daily living because of the pain and stiffness you are experiencing, such as going up or down stairs, getting up from a chair, or getting in and out of a vehicle.
  • Even with rest and medicine, swelling and inflammation will not go away.
  • Your knee has a deformity, such as swelling or an abnormal shape.

If the patient has tried all the other available treatment options and none have been successful, surgical intervention can be the next best thing.

Orthopedic assessment of the patient

Several aspects make up an assessment performed by an orthopedic surgeon, including the following:

  • Analysis of the patient’s medical history: Your orthopedic surgeon will gain insight into the overall health and ask questions regarding the intensity of the pain you are experiencing in your knee and how well you can do the activities of daily living.
  • Examination of the patient’s body: An assessment of the patient’s body involves determining the patient’s functional capacity and the power of the knee, in addition to the physical function and general leg symmetry. This is accomplished by evaluating the patient.
  • X-rays: X-rays are images that may help identify the damage’s severity and abnormality in your knee. These images can also assist rule out other potential causes of your knee pain.
  • Additional testing:  Blood tests or more sophisticated imaging techniques, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, may be required to evaluate the state of the bone and soft tissues in your knee.

How is the procedure carried out?

In most cases, knee replacement surgery is done either while the patient is under general anesthesia (in which case they remain unconscious during the process) or under spinal anesthesia or an epidural (in which case they remain awake but have no sensation below the waist).

There are plastic and metal prostheses used to replace worn-out ends of the bones in your knee joint that have been sized to fit.

What is the expected lifespan of a knee implant?

Most of today’s knee implants have a lifespan of at least 15 years following surgery. It is possible that, with physical activity, the plastic implant may wear down or become loose over time.

There is a possibility that younger patients who have knee arthroplasty may need a second knee replacement procedure at a later point in their lives.

In what ways are knee replacements advantageous?

In the long run, you could still have some pain, and to safeguard the replacement joint, you’ll need to cut down on activities with a high impact.

Knee replacement surgery, however, may alleviate a significant amount of discomfort and make movement much more manageable. Over 90% of knee replacement patients perform adequately 15 years following surgery.

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