What is knee replacement and why do you need it?
One of the primary reasons for knee replacement is to get relief from chronic knee pains, damage or severe medical conditions like osteoarthritis. The knee replacement surgery also known as arthroplasty is done to replace the damaged knee with an artificial one. People need this surgery to help them improve their quality of life and easily carry out everyday tasks like walking, getting in and out of chairs and climbing stairs.
Common Knee Conditions
It is an age-related arthritis that affects middle-aged and elders. Caused by degeneration of the knee joint that can worsen overtime. It damages and weakens the knee cartilage that increases the bone friction and more pain.
It is an auto-immune condition that causes severe pain, swelling and stiffness in various joints. RA in knee joints triggers the inflammation of the joint and may wear away the cartilage. It can happen to people of any age. Early diagnosis and treatment are the key to manage the condition effectively.
Any type of knee injury that impacts ligaments or muscles around the joint makes it unstable and may even lead to arthritis. Mostly traumatic joint injuries after a fall, car accidents or due to sports can be treated and people can get back to normal after following certain medical procedures and physiotherapy. In serious scenarios of bone fractures or improper recovery can lead to an arthritic knee.
Types of knee replacement surgery
A knee replacement surgery can be total or partial depending on the severity of the case.
Total knee replacement (TKR)
In a total knee replacement, the whole knee joint is removed and replaced with artificial implants. TKR is one of the common and most successful medical procedures. The joint surface at the end of the thigh bone (femur) and the joint surface at the top of the shin bone(tibia) is replaced and the new parts are cemented in place. The procedure ensures reduced pain and better mobility.
Partial knee replacement (PKR)
In this procedure one side, mostly the inner side of the knee joint is replaced by making a smaller incision. It is suitable for people with partial knee damage. The hospital stay and recovery time are shorter leading to faster movement. The techniques used in PKR are called reduced invasive or minimally invasive surgery.
Duration of a knee replacement surgery
Most knee replacement surgeries last for 90 to 120 minutes. The hospital stay is for 1 or 2 days depending on the type of surgery and recovery and it may be longer if required. After surgery, most patients go back to their normal routine within 6 weeks.
Research has shown that the majority of the people who’ve had knee replacement surgery are happy with the procedure and improved their quality of life. Most knee replacements can be expected to last more than 15 years.
After complete recovery, patients can engage in low-impact activities like walking, swimming, golfing or biking. But higher impact activities like jogging, skiing, tennis and sports that involve jumping should be avoided.