What Is Total Knee Replacement?

What Is Total Knee Replacement?

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By Dr. Amit Kale, Orthopaedics

A patient, experiencing severe pain in their knee joints due to Osteoarthritis or Traumatic Arthritis, undergoes Total Knee Replacement surgery. This surgical procedure involves extracting the end of the Femur bone and replacing it with a Metal Stem. These artificial implants are called Prosthesis.

Is Knee Replacement Surgery for me?
If you are experiencing severe pain in your knee joints, it means that your knee is experiencing trauma. Some of the signs are:

  1. Stiffness in the knee
  2. Pain during walking
  3. Falling due to weakness in the knee
  4. Numbness in the knee due to walking

This happens due to:

  1. Osteoarthritis: This usually occurs in people over the age of 50. The bones of the knees lose their cushions (Cartilage) and fluids, which are important for normal friction-less movement. When it is lost or damaged, it results in severe pain.
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis: This disease is also called Inflammatory Arthritis because the Synovial Membrane that exists in the knee joint is thickened and inflamed. This results in grinding between the sockets and causes weakness and pain.
  3. Trauma: A sudden shock to the knee due to a fall can cause fractures and some major injuries to the knee.
  4. Infection: Thee most common type of infection in knee is septic arthritis, which leads to loss of key components in the knee joints causing severe pain and inflammation.

Are there any risks involved in Total Knee Replacement?
Though Knee Replacements are performed by experienced Orthopedic Surgeons, you will be notified about certain risks that are involved, such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shock
  • Knee pain

In case of any complictions in knee replacement surgery, the doctors go for a revision knee replacement to fix the problem effectively.

How will the surgeon decide if I need Total Knee Replacement?

  1. Medical History: The surgeon will investigate the different diseases, preferably Arthritis that runs in your family tree. Depending on the medical history, the surgeon can evaluate your need for a replacement.
  2. X-ray: X-ray will determine the condition of your knee. It catches the deformities and disorders your knee is experiencing.
  3. Physical Examinations: There are some physical examinations like “walking on a treadmill”, will be conducted. The doctor will analyze your walking pattern and decide how healthy your knee is.
  4. Blood tests: It is also very essential to catch if the cause of your pain is some underlying problem.

Post-surgery Recovery-

  1. Eat healthy: After a Total Knee Replacement surgery, you should follow a certain diet. The more you increase weight, the more your knee will take time to heal.
  2. Don’t Put Pressure: Don’t involve yourself in heavy work like picking up heavy things, running and jogging.
  3. Mild Exercises: You will be assigned a physiotherapist, who will make you undergo some mild exercises for your knee.

Knee Replacements are one of the most effective surgical procedures. With a little bit of care, you can achieve painless walking very quickly.