Knee problems are interfering in most of the people’s daily activities like walking, sitting, and other activities that require moving here and there. Of course, most of the people choose conservative treatment, and some people get good results out of it. The non-surgical treatment options include – OTC pain medication, steroid injections, physical therapy, strengthening exercises, nutritional supplements, etc.
However, in some cases, conservative treatment may not be suitable enough to treat knee problems. In such conditions, a knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, can provide relief from knee problems such as pain, restores the lost functions due to severely damaged knee joints.
When Should I Consider A Knee Replacement Surgery?
Arthritic conditions are the most common causes of knee replacement surgery. After trying every non-surgical treatment like medication, physical therapies, steroid injection, still, if you don’t get relief from your knee problem, then a knee replacement surgery is considered.
A knee replacement helps you to regain the lost movement and provides pain relief. Here are the common health conditions that can cause damage to your knee, which ends up with knee replacement, which includes:
- Degeneration of bones due to increasing age
- Long-lasting pain which isn’t getting better
- Stiff and swollen knees
- Previous knee injuries
- Bowed legs
- Overweight or obesity
- Rheumatoid Arthritis or osteoarthritis
- Post-traumatic arthritis
- Wear and tear of knee joints due to overuse
Early surgery for a severe knee problem tends to have greater success rates. Early knee surgery provides you with better functioning and more effective in future.
Knee Replacement Surgery
To conclude a person is an ideal candidate for a knee replacement either partial or total knee replacement, an orthopaedic surgeon makes some test to evaluate the stability, strength and the range of motion of the knee. X-rays also help to find the amount of damage.
A knee replacement surgery is performed by removing the damaged parts of the knee such as bone or cartilage or kneecap from the joint and then replaced with prosthetic joints. The prosthetics work same like natural joints which are made up of metal or plastics or polymers. Depending on the severity of the damage, partial knee replacement or a total knee replacement is considered.
The lifetime of artificial knee joints also lasts for a long time between 15 and 25 years. In every 9 out of 10 people, these prosthetics functions well for nearly twenty years. However, your age, the physical activity in your day to day life may affect the age of prosthetic knee joints.
Post Knee Replacement Care
Recovery and rehabilitation are very important after knee replacement surgery. If you don’t follow the instructions provided by the orthopaedic surgeon, the recovery might be challenging. After surgery, you should follow certain precautions as instructed by the doctor such as medication, physiotherapy, nutrition, follow-up appointments for your safety, comfort and faster recovery. Initially, you are helped to walk for a short distance after surgery, but it takes some weeks to regain your previous level of movement.
Once you are home after surgery, you should move around carefully so that not damaging the new knee parts. Make the necessary arrangements in the home so that you can move around smoothly, preventing falls. The movement of the knee after surgery is very important to improve range of motion. You need to use walker sticks or crutches for support while walking after surgery for some days, as suggested by the doctor.
- You need to walk with support until you gain strength to walk on your own.
- Be cautious while getting dressed, i.e. when wearing or removing pants. Good to avoid wearing tight pants that pressurise or limits the movement of your knee.
- Don’t sit for a long time in the same position and point your feet and knees outwards straight ahead while sitting.
- Don’t turn the operated knee in or out nor stretch out or bent as instructed by the physical therapist.
- Be careful while bathing and using the washroom, make necessary arrangements to avoid random movements which can cause damage to your new knees.
- Avoid climbing stairs and heights for some days until advised by the doctors.
- Be cautious while lying down to take rest, lie flat on your back and avoid placing heights or pillow under the operated knee when you lye down. Make sure that your knee position is straight while you rest.
- You avoid driving for some weeks until you recover completely.
- Physiotherapy and the strengthening exercises that are advised by the physiotherapist plays a dominant role in the recovery process. They help you to rebuild your lost strength; the elevation and range of movement of the knee also improve remarkably.
Some other precautions you should follow during the recovery include; don’t stand on your operated leg in the early stages of recovery, and when you turn don’t turn on your operated knee. Always make sure that your toes point straight ahead. Never jerk or skid on the operated leg, it may end up damaging the replaced parts. Don’t lift or carry heavy weights because they put more stress on your operated knee.
Recovery After Knee Replacement Surgery
The recovery in case of knee replacement surgery is very quick. Most people recover within a few weeks to months after knee replacement surgery. Most people can go to their regular activities within three months of post knee replacement. Approximately, it takes six months to one year to recover your full knee functions after surgery. However, recovery from the knee replacement surgery is varied from patient to patient depending on certain factors like age, the anatomy of the patient’s knee prior surgery and cause of the knee problem. Overall health conditions such as diabetic patient may take a longer time to recover.
Don’t live in pain anymore, irrespective of the severity of the knee problem, you can get treatment; technology has advanced enough to take care of severe knee problems. For more information or in need of knee treatment, contact Dr Vasudeva Juvvadi, one of the best orthopaedic knee surgeon in Hyderabad.