What Do You Need To Know About Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery or arthroplasty is a type of surgical procedure designed for resurfacing a knee that got damaged due to arthritis. Plastic as well as metal parts are utilized for capping the bone ends in order to create a knee joint, including the kneecap. This surgery is usually suggested to patients either suffering from a severe knee injury or severe arthritis.
Arthritis can be of various types affecting the joint of the knee. Osteoarthritis is one form of degenerative joint disease affecting older and middle-aged adults, leading to the breakdown of the adjacent bone and joint cartilage in the knee. In rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial membrane gets inflamed resulting in excess production of synovial fluid, the main reason behind stiffness and pain. In case of traumatic arthritis, there is an injury that damages the knee cartilage resulting in arthritis.
A knee replacement surgery aims at resurfacing the damaged areas of the knee joint to help the patient deal with the knee pain, which is not possible to be controlled by other forms of treatment.
Why Undergo a Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery focuses on treating the disability and pain in the knee. Osteoarthritis is considered to be the most common reason for undergoing this type of surgery. People suffering from this degenerative joint disease have significant difficulty in taking part in normal activities like climbing stairs, walking, bending, etc. as the knee joints are extremely painful. The knee may either “give-way” or swell because of an unstable joint. Other than osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis is also another reason for a knee replacement surgery. At times, torn cartilages, fractures, and torn ligaments may demand a knee replacement surgery.
In case medical treatments seem unsatisfactory, one can opt for a knee replacement surgery. Some of the medical treatments that may be included along with a knee replacement surgery are:
- Physical therapy
- Pain medications
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Limiting painful activities
- Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine
- Cortisone injections at the knee joint
- Weight loss (for people who are overweight)
What Happens during Knee Replacement Surgery?
The damaged surfaces of your knee joint will be resurfaced using a prosthesis, which is made of plastic and metal. Knees differ among individuals depending on the gender, size, and shape, there are implants available which considers each of these factors providing best fit to the patients joints.
Risks Involved In Knee Replacement Surgery
Similar to any surgical procedure, there is a possibility of having complications. Some of the commonly observed complications include:
- Blood clots in the lungs or legs
- Wearing out or loosening of the prosthetics
- Continued stiffness or pain
There is a possibility that the replacement knee joint might become dislodged, loose, or dysfunctional. Such situations will call for another replacement in the near future. The blood vessels and nerves near the surgical site might also get injured causing numbness or weakness. At times, the joint pain may not be solved by undergoing a knee replacement surgery.
Other risks may also come up depending on the specific condition of the patient. Voice your concerns to your doctor beforehand to gain more insight regarding knee replacement surgery.