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Knee Replacement Surgery, which is usually known as knee arthroplasty. It is a surgery where they replace all or some parts of your knee joints. The orthopaedic surgeon (bones doctor) will replace the most damaged cartilage and bone with a prosthetic joint. After knee replacement, it is common to take up to a year to recover, but you will be able to do your basic activities gradually as you heal.

What is Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement is called knee arthroplasty or total knee replacement, it is a surgical process where they resurface a knee that is damaged by arthritis. Metal and plastic are used to cap the ends of the that form a knee joint. This surgery is recommended to those patients who have severe arthritis or a severe knee injury.

There are three types of arthritis that can affect your knee joint. Firstly we will talk about Osteoarthritis, it is a degenerative joint disease that mostly affects middle-aged or old adults.  

It may cause breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in the knees. 

Then we came to Rheumatoid arthritis, it is caused by inflammation of the synovial membrane which results in excessive synovial fluid. It can also lead you to pain and stiffness. 

And the last is Traumatic arthritis, which is caused by injuries, it can cause damage to the cartilage of the knee.

If medical treatments are not satisfying, then knee replacement surgery can be the best and effective treatment. Some treatments for degenerative joint disease may include, but they are not limited to the following:

  • Physical Activity
  • Pain Medications
  • Limiting Painful Activities
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Weight loss
  • Assistive device for walking

Types of Knee Replacement

The orthopaedic surgeon (bones doctor) will recommend either a total or partial knee replacement:

1. Partial knee replacement: 

It is a kind of surgery where surgeons will only replace some areas of your knee joint, suppose only one or two areas are damaged. This is the most common surgery which usually takes place in adults who’ve experienced an injury or trauma.

2. Total knee replacement: 

Total knee replacement treatment is the most common type of knee replacement. In this process, your orthopaedic surgeon (bones doctor) will replace all the three areas of your knee joint, which includes medial (inside), lateral (outside) and patellofemoral (under the kneecap).

What happens during a knee replacement surgery?

On the day of knee replacement surgery, anaesthesia has been given to the patient to numb their body and they will ensure that you don’t feel any pain. Either you will get a normal anaesthesia to put you to sleep during surgery or a regional anaesthesia that will numb you from the waist down.

During the knee replacement surgery, your orthopaedic surgeon (bones doctor) will do the following things:

  • They will remove damaged cartilage and bone.
  • Insert a prosthetic knee joint.
  • Insert a plastic spacer that will recreate the smooth cushion of the cartilage that was damaged.
  • Reshape the kneecap to fix the new prosthetic knee joint.

What are the basic complications of a knee replacement surgery?

Some people who have gone through a knee replacement surgery still experience pain and other kinds of symptoms in their knee. Some rare problems are mentioned below:

  • Blood clotting
  • Infection inside your knee
  • Blood vessel issue 
  • Nerve issues
  • Scar tissue inside your knee
  • Problems with aesthetic implants
  • Reduce range of motion and stiffness.

Some health conditions can make  the recovery more difficult after knee replacement surgery. 

  • Diabetes
  • Haemophilia

How much time will it take to recover from a knee replacement surgery?

Generally it takes around one year to fully recover from knee replacement surgery. But you can start your basic activities after six weeks of knee replacement surgery.

Factors that can affect your recovery time:

  • Activity level before surgery
  • Age 
  • And other health problems

Generally your orthopedic doctor will give you a customised recovery plan, but you should also do:

1. Ice your knee

Ice your knee daily for at least 20 minutes, that can help you in pain relief and swelling.

2. Elevate your knee

Keep your knee at the level of your heart as often as possible. You can use a pillow or cushion while lying down. Rest your knee on the footstool if you’re sitting in a chair.

3. Keep your incision covered and clean

Follow all the incision care instructions carefully that your orthopaedic surgeon (bones doctor) has been provided to you. Ask your orthopaedic surgeon (bones doctor) about the time of dressing on your incision site and when it is safe to take a bath.

4. Exercises at home

Your orthopaedic surgeon (bones doctor) will give you a list of exercises to do as soon as possible after your knee replacement surgery. They will show you how to perform all these exercises to strengthen your muscles around your knee to prevent it from stiffness. This will help you in your recovery and ensure that your joint regains its function.

5. Physical Therapy

You have to work with a physical therapist for up to a few months after your surgery. They will help you in your speedy recovery.

A Note from Safe Joint Replacement

Going under a knee replacement is a big decision, and it is very normal to feel anxious and you will definitely have a lot of questions regarding knee replacement surgery. Talk to our orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Raghvendra Jaiswal if you have any questions in your mind before and after surgery.

Recovery period of your knee replacement surgery can take months, but it is really worth it. Most of the people who have gone through a knee replacement surgery have significantly less day to day pain and they are able to move much better than they were before having surgery. 

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