Listed below is the step by step procedure of knee arthroplasty:
Knee arthroplasty or Knee Replacement Surgery are the terms to denote surgical treatment for people suffering from knee damage and the subsequent pain from it. Arthroplasty means “surgical repair of a joint.” Hence, knee replacement surgery is the surgical repair of joints in the knee. Knee replacement surgery involves replacing the malfunctioning joint with an artificial metallic one.
A knee replacement is a pretty common surgery undergone today by not only people in their old age but also those who have lost their mobility due to knee damage, accidents or any other unforeseen incident. Following listed are the events that necessitate someone to undergo a knee replacement surgery:
Osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis, is characterized by inflammation of joints in knees. It can happen as much to a person in his 50s as much as it could to individuals in their 20s and 30s. Joint swelling and aches are common to a person suffering from osteoarthritis. However, an arthroplasty or knee replacement is only an option when the inflamed knee is reducing quality of life of the person to a large extent.
Rheumatoid arthritis is not only an autoimmune disorder but also a systemic one. Which means, it affects the entire body. This disorder also has joint inflammation and its swelling and aches. If left untreated, this disorder has the capability to cause destruction which is irreversible to bones, cartilage, joint tissues. The doctor recommends surgery only when medications fail to have the expected outcome.
Bowing out of knees which is noticeable may alert your doctor to prescribe surgery.
Inactivity or reduced mobility due to aching knee joints and also marked inability in doing everyday activities is also cause for concern. Knee replacement surgery is an option for people at such times.
This stage entails, diagnostic testing before the big day. Based on the results, the day and date are decided for surgery. Following tests are required to be done in the preoperative evaluation:
This imaging modality, along with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is ordered by the orthopedic for understanding the status of the knee damage.
This test is relevant for helping the doctor to know the status of hemoglobin, RBC and WBC.
Heart health and its functioning is monitored through Electrocardiogram(ECG) test.
Physical fitness of patients is determined through this test.
The anesthetic agent best suitable to your body (to be used during surgery) is found out. Also, coagulant test helps the doctor in determining how well the formation of blood clots happens naturally.
Its importance stems from the fact that it decides the mobility of a person for the rest of his life and in turn the quality of life too.
Following are the measures one needs to follow in the period before the surgery and also on the day prior to the big day:
On the day of procedure, following things happen before you are taken into the operation theater for knee replacement:
An intravenous line is connected to your hand or arm. General anesthesia is administered for making you unconscious. A urinary catheter is placed inside the body for drainage of urine.
There are the two types of replacement procedures.
The total knee replacement procedure lasts anywhere between 1-3 hours. An incision is made in the knee to alter the position of kneecap so as to expose the knee joint adequately for the duration of surgery. The incision helps in accessing the shin-bone and femur. Surfaces of the insides of knee are shaped so as they are able to hold the joint, fitted artificially during surgery. The prosthesis (artificial body part) is then fitted on the last end of femur bone. Bone cement is then used for making the prosthesis stay in place. A plastic spacer is then placed on tibial surface, once the prosthesis is fixed on the bone. The plastic spacer acts as a shock absorber. Thereafter, the surgeon flexes the knee to 110 degrees. After this, the incisional area of skin is stitched up.
Partial Knee Replacement- Also known as unicompartmental knee replacement and unicondylar knee replacement, this type is a minimally invasive surgery for replacing damaged knee joints. Smaller incisions as compared to total knee replacement are made by the operating surgeon for working on the knee joint. The damaged portion of knee joint is surgically removed. An artificial prosthesis is fitted into its place. The surgeon makes sure, the prosthesis fits perfectly before concluding the surgery. A metallic knee cap is placed over the affected part of the knee. Bone cement is filled to make it stay in place. Subsequently, the incision is also stitched up. Ideally, you are likelier to get recommended for a partial knee replacement, if arthritis has damaged only a part of the knee and still the knee's range of motion is good, ligaments are stable and when you are old and not active.
You will be moved to the recovery room after your knee is properly bandaged. A catheter tube is also attached to the joint for draining out fluid that builds up from surgery. When you are sleeping the knee will be connected to a continuous passive motion (CPM) machine for flexing your legs while you are resting. A catheter is also inserted to save you from trips to the washroom.
Additionally, you are also made to wear compression stockings for reducing chances of blood clots and improving blood circulation. An intravenous line will be attached to your vein for administering medications. Ask your doctor for medication if you experience diarrhea which is completely normal in the post operative period.
There are certain measures one needs to follow to have a speedy and safe recovery post undergoing knee replacement. Few of the dos and don'ts to be followed are as below:
A knee replacement is a life-altering surgery. However, just like other surgeries, this surgery also carries few risks which need to be discussed with the doctor before undergoing it. Few of the risks are as listed below:
Following are the factors that decide whether you are a likely candidate for knee replacement surgery:
Problems after a knee replacement surgery could be prevented with the help of proper diet, following physiotherapy exercises and being active maximum times instead of resting all the time. The replacement ideally should last for the next 15-20 years.
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