Knee replacement: How does it work?

Knee arthroplasty also known as knee replacement resurfaces a knee with the help of a surgical procedure that has been damaged by arthritis. Various types of arthritis can affect the knee joint. Osteoarthritis is one of the common occurrences. It is a degenerative joint disease that mostly affects middle-aged and older adults. It causes the breakdown of the joint cartilage and the adjacent bones in the knees. Pain and stiffness can also arise from rheumatoid arthritis which causes inflammation of the synovial membrane and results in excessive synovial fluid. It can also result from traumatic arthritis which is a type of arthritis that arises from injury and causes damage to the cartilage.

Some of the medical treatments for degenerative joint diseases are anti-inflammatory medication, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, pain medications, limiting painful activities, assistive devices for walking, physical therapy, cortisone injections, and weight loss. Sometimes medical treatments are not satisfactory. In such cases, knee replacements prove to be a better option.

In a knee replacement surgery, the damaged knee joint is replaced with a man-made artificial joint called a prosthesis. Damaged bone and cartilage are removed from the knee joint and then the artificial pieces are placed in the knee. These pieces can be placed in the lower end of the thigh bone. This bone is called the femur and the replacement part is usually made of metal. The pieces can also be put in the upper end of the shin bone. This bone is called the tibia. The replacement parts are usually made of metal and strong plastic. The final part where the pieces can be fitted is the backside of the kneecap. It is called the patella. Here the replacement part is usually made from strong plastic.

During the surgery, there are two types of anesthesia that are used, general anesthesia which puts the patient into asleep and the individual cannot feel pain, or regional (spinal or epidural) anesthesia which makes the patient go numb below the waist. It is usually combined with medicine for sleep. After the anesthesia takes effect, the surgeon makes a cut above the knee which is about 8 to 10 inches. The first step involves removing the kneecap. Then he cuts the thigh bone and the shin bone to fit the replacement part. The underside of the kneecap is then cut to prepare it for new pieces that will be attached there. The two parts of the prosthesis are then attached to the bone. One part is attached to the thigh bone and the other part is attached to the shin bone. Bone cement or screws are used to attach the prosthesis to the bones. Special bone cement is then used to attach the underside of the kneecap. The muscles and tendons surrounding the knee joint are them repaired and the surgical cut is closed. A knee replacement surgery takes about 2 hours.

Once the patient is home, there are certain precautions that should be taken. Following the bathing instructions of the doctor, keeping the leg elevated, applying ice when necessary, taking pain relievers as recommended by the doctor, notifying the doctor immediately if the patient is experiencing fever, redness, swelling, bleeding or other drainages from the incision or increased pain around the incision site are some of them. One should also avoid driving and falling. Sometimes it is advised to use assistive devices while walking.

The results of total knee replacement surgery are often excellent. The operation relieves pain for most people. Most artificial knee joints last from 10 to 15 years. Some last as long as 20 years before it loosens and needs to be replaced. Therefore it is important to have the surgery at the correct time because often the results of the second surgery for replacing the old prosthesis are not satisfactory.



Knee Replacement Surgery in Bangalore

Knee Replacement Surgery in Bangalore

The knee joint is one of the largest and most complex joints in the body. The knee joins the thigh bone to the shin bone and therefore is the most stressed joint in the body. It is this stress which can cause arthritis. Knee replacement surgery is an effective treatment for arthritis in the knee joint. Vikram Hospital is a specialist in Knee Replacement surgery in Bangalore and provides the best treatment for a victim of arthritis and any other problems related to knees. There are many reasons which lead to knee replacement but arthritis is the most common reason among them worldwide.

So who needs a Knee replacement surgery? Knee replacement is an operation that involves removing parts of one’s natural knee joint and replacing them with artificial ones and it is the most common type of joint replacement surgery. The main reason for having a knee replacement surgery is to ease pain cause by arthritis and other problems. In some cases it is also performed to correct deformity in a person’s knee.

Vikram hospital, before performing the Knee Replacement surgery, the joints adjacent to the diseased knee are carefully examined as it is important to ensure positive outcome and recovery from the surgery. Blood tests of liver and kidney function and urine tests are evaluated for signs of anemia, infection, or abnormal metabolism. There are also various kinds of arthritis and the types of arthritis that may lead to Knee replacement surgery are:

  • Osteoarthritis: It occurs when the cartilage on the gliding surface of the knee joint starts wearing away. It slowly starts to cause pain and stiffness. When the cartilage is completely worn out, the bones directly rub against each other causing chronic pain and decreased mobility. Osteoarthritis is most commonly seen in people who are above the age of 50 and also in people who have a lifestyle which stresses their knees too much (athletes, laborers etc.)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis:  It is when the body’s immune system begins to attack synovial membrane causing it to become inflamed and overproduce a fluid that lubricates to the joints. The process slowly wears out the cartilage and causes pain and difficulty in mobility.
  • Traumatic arthritis: It is cause by a serious knee injury and its impact can also cause a mini trauma which over a period of time develops into Osteoarthritis which causes pain and stiffness.

Knee degeneration can also be cause by a condition known as avascular necrosis or AVN. It is not common but is mostly seen in young adults or adolescents. The bones around the joints become soft and loses contact with the main bone. This can cause immense pain, instability and even joint locking.

Abnormal formation of the knee joint can also cause stress resulting in knee degeneration. If not treated before its late, it can wear out the cartilage over a period time. So make sure you don’t get your knee joints stressed too much and be sure that you get to relax your joints often. If you find that you have problems with your knees, do not wait! Have it checked out as soon as you can.