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Total knee replacement is a surgery where the injured knee joint is replaced with an artificial material. The knee aids in motion and is a hinge where the thigh meets the lower leg.The thighbone bounds the large bone of the lower leg at the knee joint.
When a knee replacement surgery is done, the end of the femur bone is removed and in its place, an artificial material is inserted. The end of the tibia is also removed and is replaced with a channelled plastic piece that has a metal stem.Depending on the condition of the patient’s kneecap portion a plastic button is also added under the kneecapsurface.The artificial components that are used are called prosthesis.
In a total knee replacement, the posterior cruciate ligament may be sacrificed, retained or substituted bya polyethylene post. There are benefits and risks involved with each design.
Who should consider doing a total knee replacement?
Total knee replacement is for those patientswhose knee joints have been damaged because of atrauma, any rare disease or progressive arthritis.Osteoarthritis is one of the common reasons for knee replacement.
Progressive increasing pain and stiffness may lead to decrease in daily function and the patient may thus opt for a total knee replacement surgery. However, there are risks as well as benefits in undergoing this operation.
Risks of total knee replacement surgery
There is a risk of blood clot in the legs which cantravel to the lungs. Pulmonary embolism can lead to shortness of breath, shock or chest pain. Vomiting, nausea and urinary tract infection,bleeding into the knee joint, chronic knee pain and stiffness, nerve damage blood vessel injury are the other risks of doing this surgery. There are also therisksof anesthesia which could include kidney, liver, lung or heart damage. One should be aware of these risks before booking the surgery packages online.
Preoperative evaluation for the surgery
The joints that are adjacent to the diseased knee are evaluated.Thisis done to ensure the optimal outcome and recovery after the surgery. All the medications are reviewed and the doctor may either adjust or discontinue the blood thinning andthe anti-inflammatory medications before the surgery.
The other teststhatare done beforethe surgery are:
- Blood tests of liver andkidney function
- Urine test
- Chest X-ray
Postoperative recovery from the surgery
The operation lasts for almost 3 hours. After the surgery, the vital organs aremonitored in the recovery room. Urine passage may be difficult initially which gets aggravated due to the pain medications. For this, a catheter is inserted intothe urethra.
Physical therapy is essential and is a part of rehabilitation. The patientshould fully participate to get the best results.The patient can begin the therapy 48 hours after the surgery. A CPMor continuous passive motion machine is attached to the operated leg. The machine helps to constantly move the leg through various degrees of range motion when the patient is relaxed. This improves circulation and prevents scarring and contracture of the tissuesalong the knee.
Knee replacement has become a popular option for those who have end-stage arthritis. When all other treatments fail, total knee replacement surgery is the best option that lets onelead a pain-free and an active life.However, the knee replacement surgery cost is expensive and this may deter some patients from opting for this surgery.
The cost of the surgery will depend on various factors like the doctor’sfees, choice of implant, hospital charges etc.It is good to have an estimate beforehand to plan better.