Getting Knee Replacement Surgery? Here Is What You Should Know

Health & Medical Blog

If you have been told that you need knee replacement surgery, it will be an orthopedic surgeon performing it. This is usually needed if you have had constant pain or stiffness in your knee, especially if that pain keeps you from performing simple, everyday activities. While it is more common among older adults with osteoarthritis, other people might also need the surgery. Here is more information about knee replacement surgery.

What is knee replacement surgery?

With knee replacement surgery, your surgeon is going to remove the main knee joint, and put in an artificial joint. Your knee joint is a large joint connected to your thigh and lower leg. If your surgeon decides on a total knee replacement, they not only remove the knee joint, but will also replace the femur bone with a metal shell, and the tibia (lower leg bone) is replaced with a plastic piece that has a stem. Naturally, the total knee replacement is a longer surgery and more complicated recovery than just the knee replacement.

Who needs this procedure?

There are a few different reasons you might need knee replacement surgery, though it is typically for a reason leading to pain or immobilization of your knee. Osteoarthritis of the joints is a very common reason to get this procedure, as it can lead to pain so bad you are barely able to move. With osteoarthritis, your joint cartilage is breaking down, so it not only causes pain, but limits your movements as well. You may also need knee replacement surgery if you have other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Severe injury to your knee can be another reason to get the procedure done.

Are there any risks involved?

All forms of surgery will have some risks involved, and knee replacement is no exception. General surgery risks associated with this procedure include infection, bleeding, and blood clots. Risks or potential complications associated with the knee replacement specifically include a possible fracture, continued pain or immobility of the knee, or loosening of the prosthesis. You also have the risk of your blood vessels or nerves being damaged during the procedure.

What is the recovery process like?

After your surgery is complete, you are sent to the recovery room. Once you are stable and wake up, you will receive pain relief medications and remain in the hospital for several days. You will most likely speak with a physical therapist while in the hospital and will not be allowed to return home until you can stand and walk, though using an aid is most likely needed. While you may want to stay in bed due to the discomfort of having surgery, you need to start moving the joint as soon as your doctor allows it.

When you get home, continue with your doctor's orders by gradually increasing activity and seeing your physical therapist. Take it slow and try not to do too much, too quickly, though do get regular movement. Take any medications prescribed to you, and pay attention to signs of infection or other issues. These signs include a high fever, sudden pain around the incision sight, bleeding, swelling, and redness near the incision. It can take several weeks to start feeling comfortable with regular daily activities, but keep trying and let your doctor know if anything comes up.

For more information about the process, contact a clinic such as Town Center Orthopaedic Associates.


20 March 2015

Cancer Treatment Questions: Understanding The Differences in Options

After watching my mother navigate treatment for breast cancer in my early teens, I knew pretty much what to expect from my dad's diagnosis with prostate cancer. What I didn't know was how different chemotherapy and radiation can affect different people. My mother became very ill while my dad seemed to weather the treatments with few ill effects. I spent a long time researching the differences in treatments, types of chemotherapy, and how each one can react differently with the body. I created this blog to help others understand the same things, because I knew I couldn't be the only one unfamiliar with it. I hope it helps you if someone you love is facing treatment for any type of cancer.