By Dr. Sajeev Kumar, General Physician,
Knee replacement is a surgery wherein an artificial joint is used to replace a diseased, damaged or worn out knee. This surgery is common among people who fall in the age group of 60-80, but recent trends seem to suggest that younger people are opting for this surgery as well. The lifetime of the artificial knee joint is around 20 years, provided the knee is well cared for.
Why do you need knee replacement?
Most common reason is “high grade osteoarthritis” due to wear and tear of the knee joint. The pre-hospital study of the Knee joint is mandatory and would decide what kind of Replacement is suitable to the patient. If there is diabetes or hypertension associated with this, then it should be controlled well before undergoing surgery. Hemoglobin of at least 10 gm% is required.
If the mobility in your knee joint is reduced leading to impaired functioning of the knee joint, then you might need a knee replacement surgery. You may experience pain while walking, sitting and, in some cases, resting as well.
Some of the common reasons why you may opt for this particular surgery are:
- Gout, where, small crystals are formed inside the joint.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disorder, wherein the immune system of the body attacks the body’s healthy tissues.
- Hemophilia, wherein, the blood ceases to clot normally.
- Injuries to the knee
- disorders that cause unusual bone growth (bone dysplasias)
- death of bone in the knee joint following blood supply problems (avascular necrosis)
- knee deformity with pain and loss of cartilage
- Unusual growth of bones in the knee joint
Knee replacement surgery is classified into:
1. Partial Knee Replacement: In this surgery, only one part of the joint is replaced.
2. Total Knee Replacement: Total knee replacement surgery involves replacement of both sides of the knee joint.
The usual hospital stay period is around 2-3 days after the surgery is completed. Initially, you will require the help of crutches to walk for at least 2 months. You may also be asked to do gentle knee strengthening exercises. It may take up to two years to recover completely from a knee replacement surgery.