Hello there, So you finally decided to go for the knee surgery your doctor prescribed long ago. Maybe, (more likely), you’re still in that mandatory dilemma where you’re not even sure whether you should take the risk for the sake of a better tomorrow or just keep bearing with this pain anyway, like “as it is.”
We know you’re smart ( because you decided to look up online and read this, right?), and certainly, you know better than to keep suffering. Yes, nobody denies the absolute risk factors and the probability of developing complications that might follow the surgery. But isn’t it a fact that not a single surgery can be certified to be 100% safe?
You have to take this risk anyway, just like the hundreds of thousands of people have done before, and as we speak, another thousand people are doing it right now. But if you’re still reading and haven’t pressed the back button out of boredom already, there is enough evidence to say you’re confident about the surgery, but maybe, the fear comes with the unavoidable “what next?” question.
We get it; we do! But believe us, like every other dreadful problem, this has its solution too. More on that later. And right now, keep reading to know one thing or two about the surgery procedure that might help to simplify things in your mind.
Why do Knee Replacements?
Ligaments that hold Knee joint structures might come apart or loosen by some trauma or geriatric causes. Knee replacement surgery is the procedure to give back mobility and stability of the knee joint. It includes cutting out and discarding the broken or worn-out parts of the knee joint while replacing them with new cartilage, artificial ball, socket implants, etc.
The prevalence of knee replacement surgery increases dramatically with the advancement of age. At the age of fifty years, less than 0.5% of people ever need this surgery. Still, surprisingly at eighty years of age, globally, almost 11% of people are advised to undergo knee replacement procedures. The latest NCBI report shows that in 2020, 4 million people had undergone knee replacement surgery alone in the United States. The global estimate soars up somewhere near 10 million or more.
The right type of artificial joint implants and prosthesis is chosen according to your age, sex, past clinical history, current general health status.
Usually, this is done to ease arthritic pain in patients with some problems walking, climbing stairs, or standing up.
When to do Knee Replacement?
The age of 50-60 is the optimum range for knee replacement surgery. Still, people 70 years of age or more have also been shown to avail immense improvement in terms of mobility and rehabilitation.
The signs and symptoms to look for before consulting your doctor are:
- Extreme pain in the knee joint
- Burning sensation, numbing around knee joint
- Stiffness and immobility of joint
- Accident or serious trauma that might cause knee fracture or torn ligament
- The joint pain affects sleep.
- Pain persists even after all sorts of therapy.
What are the consequences of Knee Replacement?
Like any surgery, knee replacement also carries risks. For example, 12 weeks following your surgery might play a crucial role in proper recovery and rehabilitation. But usually, these are rare if you follow the restrictions properly.
Some common hazards are :
- Blood clots: The most common one. Usually, it starts in leg veins and can be easily controlled. But when the clot detaches and forms an embolism via the large vessel network reaching the lung, it may lodge into fine capillaries and block blood flow. That is lethal.
- Nerve damages: Numbness, weakness, burning pain, and rarely immobility may follow as the nerves might get damaged. This damage is most commonly seen in nerves directly wrapped around the ligaments of the knee joint where the implants are placed.
- Infections: This is a common and non-specific complication of knee replacement surgery. After introducing a foreign implant into the body, there would be hypersensitivity reactions and infections around it. Apart from the incision site, this might also occur in deeper tissues, which might have been damaged during the original trauma or by bone splinters. Superficial skin infections are the most common, and deep prosthesis or joint infections are seen in only a handful of patients. Superficial infections can be easily treated with a course of antibiotics, but in case the latter happens, another surgery will have to be done to remove the prosthesis. Patients with existing infections and chronic inflammatory disease are more prone to joint infections.
- Prosthesis damage: the prosthesis used in knee joints are usually great quality, but with time these might face wear and tear as the knee joint is one of the most mobile ones. So, the joint might face the same immobility problems again. In that case, you might need another surgery to extract that prosthesis and re-implant a new one.
Other minor complications, such as – stiffness, pain, bleeding, etc., might be seen in some patients. These are self-limiting.
How to prepare beforehand
Food and medications might sound weird, but even a knee replacement surgery needs specific dietary and preoperative medication control for safe surgery and early recovery without complications.
- Certain medications and routine foods have to be stopped.
- Before the day of surgery, the medical team will ask you not to take any food after midnight.
How to ensure a speedy and trouble-free recovery after Knee Replacement Surgery?
Recovery is easy in-home setup if proper strategies are followed. 100% full recovery may vary from person to person. Still, within three months, most patients feel improved mobility and postural comfort. And even before one year, improvements are more prominent, and patients often get back to a normal lifestyle like before.
The new knee joint makes things easy, but don’t overwork or overstretch it. Being a prosthetic material, it may cause pain if used roughly. Regular walking, jogging, cycling, and even swimming or trekking are okay. Still, heavy-impact sports like Running, weight lifting, rugby, basketball, or soccer are too much for your artificial knee joint.
- Physical therapy: You have to maintain mobility. Daily walking exercises from an early stage after surgery may help in fast Recovery. Use crutches and walkers if necessary and a knee brace (if the doctor recommends) for better and faster recovery.
We would recommend getting a knee brace from Medi Brace. These artificial support structures reinforce your weakened bones, Ligaments, and cartilaginous structures that have undergone substantial stress during surgery. It has been seen that patients who use braces after surgery show decreased incidence of post-surgical trauma and infections and a decreased need for repeat surgery as well.
- Home remedies: Ask your family members or friends or hire a caregiver for a few days to take care of you, prepare meals, etc. Gather your mobile, water bottle, medicine, charger, etc., around the place you stay and place everything at waist level so you don’t have to bend down or reach up. Get a raised toilet and shower seat as well.
So that’s all. Go for it.
It’ll be over before you know it, and you’ll return home and return to your normal routine life in no time.
Stay healthy. Stay blessed. Wish you a speedy recovery!