Total Knee Replacement: What you need to know?

Total Knee Replacement ( TKR)  is modern science’s marvel for alleviating joint pain and joint arthritis. More and more people in India are undergoing knee implantation to help them lead a healthy lifestyle.

When you are considering total knee replacement surgery, you must know basic facts about the same. Here, we are addressing the most common queries put forth by prospective patients.

It includes everything you need to know about knee joint operation.

How Do I Know If I Am Eligible for Knee Replacement?

You and your orthopedic doctor can mutually decide if total knee replacement is the answer to your arthritis. Generally speaking, if your joints are giving you enough trouble to affect your ability to carry out routine activities, the doctor would advise TKR.

Usually, in the beginning, the doctor would prescribe weight loss, physiotherapy, strengthening exercises, anti-inflammatory drugs, and ointments. For mild injuries, arthroscopy( MIS) or hyaluronic acid injections may also be considered.

When the above solutions fail to provide relief, TKR is the best option. It is a common surgery that miraculously restores a healthy lifestyle with brand new joints.

What Happens During the Total Knee Replacement Surgery?

For total knee replacement, the surgeon makes an incision about six to ten inches in the area. After putting the knee cap aside, he removes the damaged surfaces of the joint and prepares them for attaching the new joint.

After attaching the new components with surgical cement, the doctors move the joint to test its mobility.

The incision is closed hence. The procedure takes roughly 2-3 hours.

What Are the Other Alternatives for Total Joint Replacement?

Arthritis can be really painful and you might be considering total knee replacement. But, there may be reasons that prevent you from undergoing the surgery.

Maybe you are too young, and given the standard life of artificial joints as 15- 20 years, one might want to wait.

Well, there are alternatives to Total Knee Replacement, that can delay the procedure. Yes, delay, because osteoarthritis does not simply go away but pain can be controlled by the following:

  • Weight loss
  • Low impact strengthening exercise
  • NSAIDs or pain-relieving drugs
  • Arthroscopy or keyhole surgery
  • PRP and HA injections

What is an Artificial Joint?

The artificial joint used in total knee replacement is made up of a combination of plastic and metal. It has three components – the tibial, the femoral, and the patellar component.

These components attach the knee joint to the top of the shin bone or tibia, the bottom of the thigh bone or femur, and the base of the kneecap that touches the femur.

What Do I Need to Do Post-Operation?

In the first few days, you would need help in moving about and personal care. But you can start walking on the second day. It is better to stock up on frozen foods and groceries. You need to walk for a few minutes every day for a quick rehab.

It may be painful but it does speed up the recovery. Take the help of a physiotherapist in the beginning. After that, you can start with stationary cycling and other recommended exercises on your own.

All these are important to make the new joint mobile and smooth functioning.

What Changes Do I Need to Make at Home Before the Knee Replacement?

You might require a few or all of the following things immediately after the total knee replacement surgery:

  • Ice packs
  • Extra pillows to raise the legs arms
  • A walker or crutches
  • A mobile toilet seat right next to the bed.
  • Help with cooking and cleaning
  • A heightened bed.
  • Shift to a ground floor room if u have stairs
  • Help with medications and making appointments

What Are the Types of Artificial Knee Implants?

Artificial joint implants are constituted of three types of materials – metal, plastic, ceramic, or a combination of these.

Structurally speaking, we can divide them roughly into three types.

  1. Fixed bearing
  2. Mobile bearing
  3. Medial pivot

The knee structure is more like a hinge joint. However, the natural movement of our biological hinge is more varied compared to an implant.

A medical pivot implant mimics the actual movement most closely, by incorporating the ball and socket approach.

The durability of all the types is roughly the same.