Osteoarthritis (OA) is a commonly encountered cause for knee pain, stiffness, and disability in older people. OA begins with cartilage damage due to aging or injury and progresses to osteophytes (bone spurs) and subchondral sclerosis (thinning of the bone) if not treated. Knee damage is mainly due to inflammatory arthritis, injury, infection, deformity, fracture, or even knee cancer.
Surgery to replace a painful, worn-out knee joint is one of the most successful and rewarding procedures in current orthopedic practice. Knee replacement surgery can significantly help relieve pain and restore function, improve patients' quality of life, and even add years to their lives.
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is a surgical procedure that involves removing damaged or diseased parts of the knee and replacing them with prosthetic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee. It is one of the most rapidly growing and successful procedures in orthopedic surgery.
When Is Knee Replacement Surgery Needed?
Knee replacement surgery is required when there is severe damage to the knee caused by injury, accident, infection, or arthritis. Anyone who has experienced chronic or intense pain in their knee for over six months may need the procedure.
What Happens During Knee Replacement Surgery?
To begin, the surgeon will administer a local anesthetic to numb your knee and then cut through your skin to get to your knee joint.
Once the surgeon is in the knee cavity, they will remove damaged cartilage and bone from the surface of your thighbone or shinbone. They will then clean these surfaces before fitting you with a temporary cement spacer to prevent bone rubbing while your new implant settles. Once this process is complete, the surgeon will fit you with a new knee joint. This procedure will be repeated on your other knee if both need replacing.
The Recovery Period
For the first few weeks after surgery, you will need to keep your leg elevated as much as possible and not put any weight on it. You may also be given a walking aid to use for the first few months while your knee heals. Also, it's essential for someone else to drive you wherever you go during this time. These precautions help to prevent your knee from moving in a way that will displace it.
Recovery may take up to six months. However, the healing time does vary depending on the amount of physical therapy you decide to do, as well as your body's natural healing time. You should be able to return to light activities any time after surgery if your doctor says it is okay.
Knee replacement surgery is a proven solution for anyone who has had an injury or disease that has caused them chronic pain in their knee. This surgery should enable them to return to their previously active lifestyle.Share