The knee replacement surgery procedure is also called knee arthroplasty. Its main function is to reduce pain in the knee and help the knee to function or move properly. The procedure of knee replacements includes eliminating the damaged bone and cartilage from the thighbone, knee cap or shinbone via a surgical procedure or operation. It is then replaced with an artificial joint, commonly known as the prosthesis which is made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and polymers.
One must consult an orthopedic surgeon to know whether a knee replacement is required or not. An orthopedic surgeon examines your knee and it’s a range of motion, stability, and strength and also conducts X-rays. They help to determine the damage or injury in your knee to know whether a replacement is required or not. The doctor or orthopedic surgeon chooses the type of knee replacement procedure or prosthesis and also the surgical techniques that will be used based on a range of factors like age, weight, height, shape, activity level. Health and knee size.
Reasons for undergoing a knee replacement?
Osteoarthritis causes severe pain and thus, to relieve this pain a knee replacement is undergone. People who find it difficult to move, walk, climb stairs and even getting in and out of chairs generally require a knee replacement surgery. Some people also suffer from severe pain when their knee is at rest, even they require a knee replacement.
Risks of a knee replacement procedure
The various risks involved in a knee replacement procedure are:
- Blood clots in the leg vein or lungs
- Heart attack
- Nerve damage
There can be high risks of infections too after undergoing a knee replacement. However, one might immediately consult a doctor in case they see the symptoms below :
- Fever greater than 100 F (37.8 C)
- Shaking chills
- Drainage from the surgical site
Knee replacement: The Procedure
The first step of any major or minor surgical procedure involves giving anesthesia. Even in case of knee replacements anesthesia is a must. The patient will either be given general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia. To prevent post-surgical infections the patient will also be given an antibiotic both before and after the surgery. A numb block might also be given to numb the area around your knee for some hours.
The knee is kept in a bent position all throughout the replacement procedure. An incision of about 6 to 10 inches long is made. the surgeon removes the kneecap and cuts away the damaged or injured joint surfaces. Then the pieces of the artificial joint are attached. The surgery or the knee replacement procedure takes about two hours.
After the surgery is over the patient is kept in bed rest for about two-three days. Then he or she is sent home and is asked to take proper care and rest. Huge amounts of exercises are advised by the doctor and they must be performed regularly and properly. The patient is also advised to eat healthily and not do heavy movements for some time.
Is Knee Replacement Procedure Totally Safe?
To a person who has considerable knee pain, that his daily routine and the motions he/she indulges in are directed by his/her knee pain; total knee replacement offers an instantaneous, enduring and great improvement in the condition of life. It is one of the most delightful surgeries to be ever performed. However, there is a price and I am not talking about the financial one.
There is a very very tiny chance ( less than one in a thousand) of infection. If that occurs, it is a little tiresome to manage. Other likely issues could be injury to a major blood vessel and injury to circling ligaments: which, owing to more reliable understanding and better techniques of surgeons these days, I am yet to face one. To sum up, it is a very dependable plan- IF you really require it, don’t delay. 999 out of 1000, you will have no disappointments.