Total knee replacement surgery is also known as arthroplasty which involves the replacement of the weight-bearing areas of the knee with a knee implant so as to relieve the pain and increase the joint mobility. If the knee is severely damaged due to any disease like arthritis or an accident, it is hard to bear the brunt of the pain while performing simple activities like walking, climbing and even sitting. If the diseased knee doesn’t respond to other modes of treatment, it’s arthroplasty which renders the permanent cure. There are numerous knee replacement surgery packages online to provide the apt information for the same.
The knee is a joint formed by the thigh bone (femur), the shinbone (tibia) and the kneecap. All these three bones join and are encased by an articular cartilage with meniscus present in between the femur and tibia. This meniscus acts as a shock absorber. There are strong ligaments in femur and tibia to hold the muscles providing it strength. A synovial membrane is also present around the knee which releases synovial fluid to act as a barrier, but any disruption can lead to knee and its joint dysfunctions.
There are several causes predisposing to knee problems and the need for its surgical intervention.
- Osteoarthritis, an age-related problem affecting 50 years+ in which the cushioning of the cartilage softens and bones start rubbing against each other causing wear and tear.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, which affects the major population; is due to the inflammation of the synovial membrane which leads to stiffness and pain in the joints.
- Post-traumatic injuries, popularly known as post-traumatic arthritis, could be due to injury to any cartilage or membrane making it susceptible to pain and movement problems.
There are some good healthcare hospitals which advise and perform total knee replacement surgery in India. To enlist a few, they are Fortis Hospital and Medanta in Delhi, Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai, Manipal Hospital; Nova etc.
The knee replacement surgery procedure involves an incision on the skin along with the removal of the damaged cartilage surfaces at the ends of the femur, tibia with a little of underlying bone as well. A metal component is pressed to fit the bone whereas a medically-approved plastic spacer is placed between the components to give a smooth gliding surface.
PRECAUTIONS AFTER SURGERY:
After the surgery of around 3-4 hours, the patient is taken under observation to monitor the vital signs. When the patient is stabilized, painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and antibiotics are given to reduce the trauma. The physical therapy typically begins after 48 hours and knee immobilizers are given to support it. A device named as CPM (Continuous Passive Motion) is used to speed up the recovery by attaching the operating leg to it and giving continuous motions in different directions. This helps in improving the circulation around the joint area. The patients are advised to use crutches and walkers for initial movement.
The patient is recommended for exercises that strengthen the calf muscle with minimal pressure on the replaced joint area. Those exercises which involve running or brisk walking are avoided; with swimming supposed to be the best option for such people. If the patient is undergoing some dental treatment, urological or endoscopic procedures; they should inform the healthcare personnel as they are at risk of bacterial infection. The doctor would provide the necessary line of treatment and this can aid the other procedures as well, with precautions.