What Is Total Knee Replacement?
Total knee replacement is an operation to restore pain-free motion to the knee joint and function to the muscles, ligaments and other soft-tissue structures that control the joint.
It has become the gold standard treatment for advanced arthritis of joints in the elderly due to various causes.
Who Needs A Total Knee Replacement & When?
People suffering from advanced arthritis either due to degenerative (wear and tear) joint disease or inflammatory joint damage can undergo knee replacement surgery.
One will need joint replacement only when the joints are extremely painful, deformed or stiff, making them unable to walk even for a few yards.
Also Read: Yoga Asanas To Treat Knee Pain
How Is Total Knee Replacement Surgery Performed?
Total knee replacement is performed using specific instrumentation to reproduce the joint mechanics to as near normal as possible.
In this operation, slivers of the bone along with the damaged cartilage are removed and are replaced with the artificial components, which are generally anchored by using bone cement.
The artificial joint consists of a metallic portion interspersed with a plastic component, allowing easy gliding during any joint motion.
How Successful Is Knee Replacement Surgery?
The long-term survivor-ship studies have shown that total knee replacement has a 20-year survivor-ship of about 96% to 98% efficacy.
How Many Days Should One Need To Stay In The Hospital?
The average period of hospital stay has drastically reduced with modern joint replacement techniques. Typically, the stay would be around 3 to 7 days.
When Can One Get Back To Normal Work After The Surgery?
Patients are allowed to get up and walk the very next day following surgery; and before discharge from the hospital, the patients should be able to perform most of the activities of daily living by themselves.
They may need to use a walking aid for a couple of weeks; however, they should be back to normal walking in about 6 to 8 weeks time.
What Are The Possible Complications One Should Be Aware Of?
Today, joint replacement surgery is fairly a successful surgery. However, as with any surgery, one should keep in mind some of the following possible adverse outcomes following the surgery such as infection, deep vein thrombosis, aseptic loosening, and vessel and nerve complications.
What Are The Do's And Don'ts After Surgery?
There is no limitation on walking, climbing stairs, jogging and swimming. Generally, it is not advisable to pursue high-impact sports like football, rugby, etc. Playing tennis, golf, etc, is a safer option. Squatting in the Indian toilet is generally not advised as well.
How Long Does An Artificial Knee Joint Last?
The average life of a replaced knee joint is about 15 to 20 years.
What Is High Flexion Knee Replacement?
High flexion knee replacement is nothing but total knee replacement, in which the patients are allowed to bend the knee to about 145 degrees. One should note that this flexibility is achievable only in a few individuals.
Therefore, safety and very good success rates, reproducible surgical techniques, safer anaesthetics and anaesthetists and good 15-20 years survivor-ship have made total joint replacement surgery an acceptable procedure for advanced arthritis.
Dr. Chandrasekar Chikkamuniyappa, is the CEO as well as the Senior Joint Replacement Surgeon at PEOPLE TREE Hospitals, Bangalore.