What Is Knee Joint Replacement?


Knee joint replacement is the process that comprises replacing the ailing or injured knee with a prosthesis or artificial joint. The prosthesis is manufactured using polymers, plastics, and metal alloys. It replicates the function of the knee. Replacement knees are made to suit the specifications and needs of the individual. When a prosthetic knee is being selected, the doctor will consider the individual’s overall health, activity level, weight, and age. The procedure to replace the injured knee with the prosthetic one typically lasts for under two hours. However, rehabilitation and recovery could last for months.

Knee arthroplasty is another name for the procedure of replacing a knee. These surgeries are very common. Every year in the United States there are more than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries.

Purpose Of Knee Joint Replacement

The most common reason for knee joint replacement is damage from arthritis. This includes rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Health care providers normally recommended knee replacement after much less invasive treatments failed. First option treatments include physical therapy, medications, weight loss, and assistive devices, such as a knee brace or cane. Key factors in influencing the selection of a candidate for knee replacement surgery involve the individual’s overall health. It also includes their age, whether the knee bows, blow out frequently, or is deformed. Also, how much does the pain from the knee disrupt everyday activities, for example, climbing stairs or walking?

Knee replacement surgery is a common treatment for individuals over the age of fifty years old. Younger individuals who require their knees replaced might outlive their artificial replacement and could require a revision. Every candidate for knee replacement surgery is assessed on an individual basis by health care providers.

Preparation For Knee Joint Replacement

Prior to every surgery, the health care provider will evaluate the anesthesia risks and overall health of the individual. The assessment includes x-rays, blood tests, physical examination, full medical history, and other imaging tests.

The health care provider will request the complete medical history, which includes any previous surgeries and persistent health conditions. Individuals should inform their doctor regarding any medication they are taking. This includes nutritional supplements and over-the-counter medicines. Individuals might have to stop taking some if not all of their medicines prior to the surgery.

What is more, individuals should inform their health care provider about allergic reactions to anesthesia. The doctor will analyze the anesthesia options depending on the preference and what they believe is suitable for the individual. This could also mean general anesthesia, meaning the individual is put to sleep during the surgery. It could also mean the anesthesia is placed in the spine, leaving the individual awake yet free of pain waist down.

The health care provider will provide the surgical team with the medical history, the preference for anesthesia, and the results of the medical assessment.

Individuals should be prepared to walk with the assistance of a walker or crutches for a few weeks. Prior to surgery, individuals ought to prepare their homes to accommodate them during recovery. In the event that the individual has a multi-story home, maintain the living space on the first floor if at all possible. It is also a great idea to have a footrest or chair accessible so the individual could elevate their leg. Individuals might require the installation of handles in their showers and possibly around their toilets.

Full instructions will be provided by the primary health care provider and the surgical team on how to prepare for surgery. It is vital to follow all instructions as closely as possible.

After Knee Joint Replacement

After having knee surgery, the leg will feel a bit stiff. The individual will experience pain. Obtaining painkillers intravenously or via the veins could assist with pain management. Individuals might receive a nerve block or possibly long-acting local anesthesia at the time of the surgery. This would assist with postoperative pain. Medication to stop the blood from clotting will also be provided.

The majority of individuals start physical therapy immediately after surgery in order to encourage blood flow. A continuous passive motion machine might be recommended by the surgeon. This machine has a brace that will consistently move the knee in gradual, gentle bending motions. Following the surgery, the individual will undergo substantial physical therapy. This program will be developed by the physical therapist in conjunction with the surgeon.

Complications Associated With Knee Joint Replacement

Each medical procedure comes with its own unique set of risks, including infection, blood clots, and bleeding. The health care provider will detail all these risks and methods to minimize them. It is documented that under two percent of the more than 600,000 knee replacement surgeries have severe complications. Complications connected to knee replacement surgery include heart attack, bleeding, stroke, and breathing issues as a result of the anesthesia. Blood clots in the lungs and legs and the artificial knee wearing out over time are also complications.

In the event that the following are experienced contact your primary health care provider immediately. Increased pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness in the knee. A fever that is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, drainage from the surgical scar, and chills.

An enduring concern for individuals that received knee replacement surgery is infections. Due to the fact that bacteria and other contaminants frequently flow through the blood, the artificial knee could be infected. If there is a knee infection, a section or the entire artificial knee might have to be removed. This is so that the infection can be treated, prior to another implant going in.


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