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Unilateral Knee Replacement

     
     

Variable reasons contribute to Joint pain and stiffness. The answer lies in comprehension of the possible causes and treatment options. The causes range from knee injuries to the common cause of severe arthritis condition in old age, prolonged abnormal posture, or repetitive motion.

UNDERSTANDING KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY

Knee replacement, is the most commonly performed orthopedic procedure, medically known as knee arthroplasty. It is a surgical procedure in which the weight-bearing surface of the knee joint is replaced (removal of the damaged joint surface with replacement of a metal and plastic implant) to consequently relieve the patient from pain and disability. Indications have been mentioned above and a patient feels extreme pain while performing physical activities involving extensive motion of the knee joint.

PREPRATION FOR THE SURGERY

You will go in for a detailed consultation with your doctor who will review your medical history. Your physical (X-Ray) and medical (blood, urine, etc) investigation will follow to assess your fitness for the procedure as it is a major surgery. This investigation will precede the operation by 2-3 weeks, and the doctor might also bring about change in certain medication you are currently on in preparation for the surgery. You would also have to do a little bit of home planning as you stair movements would be initially restricted and you would have to use western toilet only to avoid sitting on the floor.

YOUR STAY IN THE HOSPITAL

You might be admitted in the hospital one day prior to the surgery, the actual procedure may take about 2 hours, you'll be required to stay in the hospital for atleast a day after the surgery to monitor your vitals.

ACTUAL PROCEDURE

In this procedure you might be administered General anesthesia (in it you sleep throughout) or you may be given Spinal or epidural anesthesia (in it you are awake but your legs are anesthetized). Please discuss both the options with your doctor. A total knee replacement is a surgery as mentioned a procedure in which an affected knee joint is replaced with artificial implant. The knee is a joint, which being a hinge provides movement at the juncture of the thigh and the leg. During the surgery the end of femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The end of the leg bone (tibia, is also removed and replaced with a channeled plastic piece with a metal stem. Some patients also undergo partial knee replacement in which the medial compartment (the knee is divided into three compartments) of the knee is replaced.

RECOVERY

After the operation, the hospital stay ranges from one to seven day depending upon the patient's health. Patient is required to use walker or crutches for speedy recovery. Patients are also put on physiotherapy to resume movement. Complete recovery from the operation may take three months nearly.

RISKS

Knee replacement is a major surgery and as such entails a few risks and complications. Though the complication rate following total knee replacement is very low. Statistically, serious complications, such as a knee joint infection, occur in less than 0.5 percent of patients. Then, Blood Clots or thrombosis or DVT in the leg veins is also a potential complication of knee replacement surgery. Lastly the thing to remember is to avoid falls. For all three your doctor will discuss prevention medication and aides with you prior to the surgery.

BENEFITS

Knee replacement promises you - Relief from joint pain, Augmented mobility, Rectification of deformity (straight legs), Improved leg strength, most importantly -Superior quality of life and the capability to return to normal activities. Weighed against each other partial knee replacement ensures smaller incision, easier rehabilitation, enhanced recovery, shorter hospital stay, less blood loss, lower risk of infection, stiffness, and blood clots, and easier revision if necessary as against total knee replacement.

Knee replacement ensure that you open your eyes to a new world rather than close them writhing in pain.

Here is wishing you success in improving your joint health.

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