Knee replacement, commonly known as knee arthroplasty or complete knee replacement, is a surgical operation used to resurface an arthritis-damaged knee. Metal and plastic components, as well as the kneecap, are utilised to cap the ends of the bones that make up the knee joint. Someone with severe arthritis or a severe knee injury may benefit from this procedure.
The knee joint can be affected by several types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that primarily affects middle-aged and older persons. It can result in the destruction of joint cartilage and neighbouring bone in the knees. Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes synovial membrane inflammation and excess synovial fluid, can cause discomfort and stiffness. Traumatic arthritis, or arthritis caused by an injury, can harm the cartilage in the knee.
The purpose of knee replacement surgery is to resurface damaged areas of the knee joint and reduce knee discomfort that cannot be controlled with conventional treatments.
What is the cost of total knee replacement surgery?
Reasons for the procedure
Knee replacement surgery is a treatment for knee pain and disability. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent ailment that necessitates knee replacement surgery.
The deterioration of joint cartilage is the hallmark of osteoarthritis. Damage to the cartilage and bones restricts movement and may result in pain. Because of the pain, people with severe degenerative joint disease may be unable to perform regular tasks that require bending at the knee, such as walking or climbing stairs. Because the joint is unstable, the knee may enlarge or "give way."
Other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis caused by a knee injury, can also cause knee joint deterioration. Furthermore, fractures, damaged cartilage, and/or torn ligaments might result in irreparable knee joint injury.
If medicinal treatments are ineffective, knee replacement surgery may be an option. Among the medical therapies for degenerative joint disease are, but are not limited to, the following:
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate
- Medication for pain
- Restriction of uncomfortable activities
- Walking Assistive Devices
- Injections of cortisone into the knee joint
- Injections of viscosupplementation (to add lubrication into the joint to make joint movement less painful)
- Loss of weight (for obese persons)
Your doctor may also propose knee replacement surgery for other reasons.
Prior to the procedure
- Your doctor will explain the procedure to you and provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about it.
- You will be asked to sign a consent form granting authorization to do the surgery. If something is unclear, read the form carefully and ask questions.
- In addition to a thorough medical history, your doctor may do a thorough physical examination to ensure you are in good health before proceeding with the treatment. You may be subjected to blood testing or other diagnostic procedures.
- Notify your doctor if you are allergic or sensitive to any drugs, latex, tape, or anaesthetic agents (local and general).
- Inform your doctor about all medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and herbal supplements you are using.
- Notify your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are on any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) drugs, aspirin, or other blood-clotting medications. You may need to stop using these medications before the surgery.
- You should contact your doctor if you are pregnant or suspect you are pregnant.
- You will be instructed to fast for eight hours before the surgery, which will usually take place after midnight.
- Prior to the surgery, you may be given a sedative to help you relax.
- Prior to your operation, you may visit with a physical therapist to discuss rehabilitation.
- Make arrangements for someone to assist you around the house for a week or two after you are released from the hospital.
During the procedure
- A hospital stay is required for a knee replacement. Procedures may differ depending on your situation and the practices of your doctor.
- Knee replacement surgery is typically conducted while you are unconscious under general anaesthetic. Your anesthesiologist will go through this with you ahead of time.
- In general, knee replacement surgery proceeds as follows:
- You will be asked to remove your clothes and handed a gown to wear.
- In your arm or hand, an intravenous (IV) line may be started.
- You'll be placed on the operating table.
- It is possible that a urinary catheter will be implanted.
- Hair at the surgical site may be trimmed if it is profuse.
- During the procedure, the anesthesiologist will continuously monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and blood oxygen level.
- An antiseptic solution will be used to clean the skin around the surgery site.
- The doctor will create an incision in the area of the knee.
- The damaged surfaces of the knee joint will be removed, and the knee joint will be resurfaced with the prosthesis. Metal and plastic are used to make the knee prosthetic. A cemented prosthesis is the most frequent type of artificial knee prosthesis. Uncemented prostheses are no longer routinely used. Surgical cement is used to secure a cemented prosthesis to the bone. An uncemented prosthesis has a porous surface on which the bone grows to adhere to the prosthesis. A combination of the two types is sometimes used to replace a knee.
- The prosthesis is made up of three parts: the tibial component (to resurface the top of the tibia or shin bone); the femoral [thigh bone] component (to resurface the end of the thigh bone); and the patellar component (to resurface the bottom of the kneecap that rubs against the thigh bone).
- Stitches or surgical staples will be used to close the incision.
- To remove fluid from the incision site, a drain may be implanted.
- A sterile bandage or dressing will be placed on the wound.
After the procedure
In the hospital
You will be brought to the recovery room for observation following the surgery. You will be transported to your hospital room once your blood pressure, pulse, and respiration are steady and you are aware. Knee replacement surgery normally necessitates a few days in the hospital.
Following surgery, it is critical to begin moving the new joint. Soon after your total knee replacement surgery, a physical therapist will meet with you to create an activity regimen for you. To begin physical treatment, a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine may be employed. While you sleep, this gadget moves your new knee joint through its range of motion. Medication will be used to control your pain so that you may engage in the workout. You will be given an exercise regimen to follow both whiles in the hospital and after you are discharged.
You will be sent home or to a rehabilitation facility. In either scenario, your doctor will make arrangements for you to continue receiving physical therapy until you rebuild muscular strength and range of motion.
Once you've returned home, it's critical to keep the surgery area clean and dry. Bathing instructions will be provided by your doctor. During a subsequent appointment visit, the stitches or surgical staples will be removed.
You may be urged to elevate your leg or apply ice to the knee to assist in minimise swelling.
As directed by your doctor, use pain medication for soreness. Aspirin and other pain relievers may raise the risk of bleeding. Take only drugs that have been prescribed to you.