Knee replacement surgery involves replacing a damaged or worn knee joint with an artificial joint. In this article, we will explore what knee replacement surgery looks like and also discuss how patients can prepare for the surgery and recover from the procedure. This article by fivalifitness will discuss this topic to give the reader an understanding of knee replacement surgery.
Understanding Knee Replacement
Knee replacement surgery is a medical procedure that involves replacing a damaged or diseased knee joint with an artificial joint consisting of metal and plastic components. This surgical intervention is often recommended for people who suffer from severe knee pain, stiffness, and limited movement due to conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or injury.
The implantation of an artificial joint helps restore knee function, reduces pain, and improves the overall quality of life for patients who undergo this procedure. Orthopedic surgeons are usually responsible for performing knee replacement surgery, which requires several weeks of post-operative rehabilitation to restore strength and mobility to the affected limb.
Reasons for Knee Replacement
Knee replacement surgery is for individuals who are experiencing severe knee pain, stiffness, and limited movement due to a variety of conditions or injuries. Some of the reasons knee replacement surgery may be needed include:
- Severe knee pain: In spite of conservative treatments such as pain medications, physical therapy, and assistive devices, some people may still experience knee pain affecting their quality of life. In such cases, knee replacement surgery may be recommended.
- Advanced arthritis: Arthritis of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can cause severe joint damage, resulting in severe knee pain, stiffness, and limited movement. Replacement knee surgery may be necessary when these conditions reach an advanced stage.
- Knee injuries: An injury such as a fracture or torn ligament can cause long-term damage, leading to chronic knee pain and limited movement. Knee replacement surgery may be necessary when other treatments fail to provide relief.
- Restoring Function: The knee replacement procedure is often the best option to restore normal knee function, allowing the individual to resume daily activities, reduce discomfort and improve mobility.
To ensure the best possible outcome from knee replacement surgery, patients should take these essential steps to prepare:
- Medical evaluation: Patients must undergo an evaluation to determine if they are suitable for the surgery. This may involve diagnostic tests like blood work and imaging scans.
- Medications: Patients may need to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or NSAIDs, before the procedure to reduce the risk of bleeding.
- Smoking cessation: To minimize complications during and after surgery, patients who smoke may be advised to quit smoking several weeks before the procedure.
- Exercise: Regular exercise before surgery can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the knee joint, which can aid in recovery after the surgery.
- Home preparation: Preparing the home includes creating a comfortable resting area, arranging transportation to and from the hospital, and stocking up on necessary supplies.
- Communication: Patients must communicate with their healthcare providers to address any concerns or questions regarding the procedure. It is crucial to understand the risks, benefits, and expected outcomes of the surgery thoroughly.
To ensure proper recovery and protection of the knee joint after surgery, patients should take the following essential steps:
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is essential to restore mobility and strength to the knee joint after surgery. It is important to adhere to the physical therapy regimen prescribed by the provider.
- Follow-up appointments: Attendance at all follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider is necessary to monitor progress and address any issues.
- Avoid high-impact activities: High-impact activities, such as running or jumping, should be avoided to reduce stress on the knee joint.
- Use assistive devices as needed: Crutches, walkers, or canes can help reduce stress on the knee during the initial recovery phase.
- Wear a knee brace: An unloading knee brace can provide additional support and stability for the knee during recovery and protects it from sudden movements.
- Maintain a healthy diet: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help speed up the recovery process.