What Can Help With Recovery Following A Knee Replacement
Patients react to the pain of a knee replacement very differently. Those who curtail regular exercise and long walks due to knee pain before operation are actually decreasing their muscle function by walking shorter distances. There is an increasing trend where patients who attend physio before an operation optimise their muscle function and reduce their recovery time. Pre-rehabilitation can greatly reduce recovery time following knee replacement surgery.
Mr Monk suggests that recovery is divided into three different stages, following a knee replacement:
- In the first two weeks, the knee needs to recover from the physical challenge of the operation. While the skin is healing, the soft tissue of the muscles start to repair themselves.
- Physiotherapy should begin immediately and then be stepped up between two and six weeks after the operation to regain the range of movement in the knee. This stage is very important to counteract the tendency of the knee to stiffen up.
- After six weeks patients are encouraged to walk as much as they can in order to regain optimal function of the knee.
What Is Partial Knee Replacement Surgery
Partial knee replacement is where the bone surfaces of only compartment of the knee joint are removed and replaced with implants or resurfaced, while the bone surfaces of other compartments as well as unaffected cartilage and other soft tissues are preserved.
Patients with unicompartmental knee arthritis have cartilage degeneration in only one section or compartment of the knee. In cases where nonsurgical techniques do not provide symptom relief, surgeons can remove damaged cartilage and bone in the diseased area only, while preserving the ligaments that help support the knee joint, explains , Attending Orthopedic Surgeon at HSS.
A prosthesiswhich may also be called an implanttakes the place of the damaged area of the knee, leaving the other compartments intact.
Over the past 15 years, improvements in surgical techniques and instrumentation have made partial knee replacement a viable option for a growing number of patients in fact, recent data suggests that anywhere from 10 to 15% of all patients with osteoarthritis of the knee may be eligible for the procedure.
What Is The Recovery Period Like For Such A Procedure
Mr Henry BourkeWe have not noticed that the recovery is that much different to having one knee replacement. We tell our patients to clear their diaries for six weeks after the procedure. The majority of this time is spent at home although in the latter few weeks you can get out of the house and do a little a bit of walking just gently. Unfortunately, you cannot drive a car in this period. We also do not let any of our patients fly in this period due to the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis. Most patients are mobile by six weeks, walking independently or just with a single stick. A return to gentle sporting activities such as golf usually is possible by three months.
Mr Rakesh KucheriaThe recovery period for bilateral knee replacement is between 8-12 weeks but most patients are in hospital for about 5-7 days.
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How Long Does The Pain Last After A Knee Replacement
Over 90% of patients who have knee replacement surgery experience a significant improvement in their pain and mobility. But remember that this is a major surgery, which means that it takes time to recover after going under the knife.
It often takes three months to return to normal activities and six months to 1 year before your knee is strong and resilient.
No Pain No Gain Just Take The Medicine
There will be pain. There is no way around that, unfortunately. At first, the surgeon will likely have you on some pretty strong pain relievers. As the swelling goes down, you start to move and get used to your new knee, the pain will usually get much less. Well help you monitor and manage your pain. When the pain stops, well stop using the painkillers because there is no other need to continue taking them.
It is really important that the surgeons pain relief program is adhered to in order to achieve mobility through rehabilitation without restriction due to pain. Regaining movement will help to reduce the pain and therefore work to end the medication program.
Avoiding medication by choosing to tough it out or, using the medication for longer than you need it could lead to a delayed recovery. Its a joint effort to get the right pain relief with you and your medical team.
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Tips To Speed Your Recovery After Knee Replacement Surgery
Nearly half of American adults will develop knee arthritis at some point during their lives. Pain, stiffness, and limited mobility are often the result of knee arthritis. Knee replacement surgery can relieve pain and restore function when your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury. The average recovery time from knee replacement surgery is approximately six months, but it can take roughly 12 months to fully return to physically demanding activities. Though the recovery process can be long, there are steps you can take to heal well and enhance your recovery speed.
Disadvantages And Risks Associated With Double Knee Replacement
While most double knee replacement surgeries are successful and have limited risks, there are higher risks for some complications compared to single knee replacement.
Those risks include:
- Risk of more blood loss. Its estimated that about 40% of people who have double knee replacement need a blood transfusion, compared to about 12% of people who get a single knee replacement.
- Stay in a rehabilitation center. About two-thirds of patients with double knee replacements need to go to a rehabilitation center, compared to just a quarter of single knee replacement patients.
- Prolonged anesthesia time. Replacing two knees takes more time than replacing one, so patients will spend more time under general anesthesia, increasing the risk of complications.
- No good leg to stand on. Recovery and getting around are more complicated when a patient doesnt have a stable leg to rely on when standing, sitting, or using crutches.
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Are There Any Permanent Restrictions After A Knee Replacement
Although it is possible to participate in high-impact sports after a knee replacement, surgeons usually strongly discourage doing so even after the knee is fully healed.
Furthermore, patients with knee restrictions often have permanent work restrictions medical instruction against performing certain activities at work after having knee replacement surgery. Employers are legally obligated to honor those restrictions, which often occur even after patients have resumed normal activity levels.
That said, knee replacement surgery involves very few long-term limitations for patients. Besides high-impact sports, long-distance running and some work-specific activities, you should be able to resume your life with the freedom to participate in a broad range of activities after knee replacement surgery. The main reason for activity restrictions is to ensure a long knee replacement life span.
When Can I Kneel Again
Kneeling is not usually recommended until six weeks after knee replacement surgery as it could be uncomfortable, and the knee may have a reduced sensation. Your doctor can advise when it is safe to do so. Many patients have difficulty kneeling after knee replacement surgery.
This article contains information of a general nature, which may not be relevant to you. You should not rely on this article as medical advice. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risk. We encourage you to speak with your doctor about your condition.
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How Long Does A Knee Replacement Last
According to the data, about 90% of knee replacements last a minimum of 15 years, but many are still doing well at the 20-year mark. You can extend the life of your replacement knee by staying active and keeping your weight down. Its a good idea to avoid high-impact exercise like jogging, however.
Advanced Orthopaedic Centers offer state-of-the-art care for patients to improve the quality of their lives. We offer a variety of procedures, including total knee replacement, to help our patients return to a pain-free life.
Different Types Of Surgery
There are 5 main types of knee replacement surgery:
- Total knee replacement. This is the most common form. Your surgeon replaces the surfaces of the thigh bone and shin bone that connects to the knee.
- Partial knee replacement. If arthritis affects only one side of your knee, this surgery may be a possibility. However, itâs only right for you if you have strong knee ligaments and the rest of the cartilage in the knee is normal. Partial knee replacement can be performed through a smaller cut than is needed for total knee replacement.
- Patellofemoral replacement. This replaces only the under-surface of the kneecap and the groove the kneecap sits in. This can be very effective for people with chronic kneecap arthritis.
- Complex knee replacement. This procedure may be needed if you have very severe arthritis or if youâve already had two or three knee replacement surgeries.
- Cartilage restoration: Sometimes when the knee only has an isolated area of injury or wear this area can be replaced with a living cartilage graft or cells which grow into cartilage.
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Bilateral Knee Replacement Q& a
Two of our leading consultant orthopaedic specialists, Mr Henry E.Bourke and Mr Rakesh Kucheria , based at The Princess Margaret Hospital, answer questions about the simultaneous bilateral knee replacement surgery they perform, including how it works, who can have the procedure and the secret to working so well together
How Long Will I Need Physical Therapy After Knee Replacement Surgery
Physical therapy is one of the key parts of your recovery. Physical therapists like myself use a combination of exercises, education and hands-on care to strengthen your body, teach you how to avoid injury and help you learn how to use your new knees.
Youll start regularly working with physical therapists within the first week after surgery. At TRIA, well work with you to develop a personalized therapy plan, which usually involves about three months of meeting with your physical therapist.
These first three months of physical therapy after knee replacement surgery are critical to setting you up for a successful recovery. And many of the moves you learn will be useful long-term to keep your joint feeling good.
Treatment plans are unique to each patient, but heres what you can expect:
Preparation For Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Patients undergoing total knee replacement surgery usually will undergo a pre-operative surgical risk assessment. When necessary, further evaluation will be performed by an internal medicine physician who specializes in pre-operative evaluation and risk-factor modification. Some patients will also be evaluated by an anesthesiologist in advance of the surgery.
Routine blood tests are performed on all pre-operative patients. Chest X-rays and electrocardiograms are obtained in patients who meet certain age and health criteria as well.
Surgeons will often spend time with the patient in advance of the surgery, making certain that all the patients questions and concerns, as well as those of the family, are answered.
The surgeons office should provide a reasonable estimate of:
- the surgeons fee
- the degree to which these should be covered by the patients insurance.
Total Knee Replacement Surgical Team
The total knee requires an experienced orthopedic surgeon and the resources of a large medical center. Some patients have complex medical needs and around surgery often require immediate access to multiple medical and surgical specialties and in-house medical, physical therapy, and social support services.
Finding an experienced surgeon to perform your total knee replacement
Some questions to consider asking your knee surgeon:
- Are you board certified in orthopedic surgery?
- Have you done a fellowship in joint replacement surgery?
- How many knee replacements do you do each year?
Know What To Expect Before Having A Knee Replacement
Whether having two separate procedures or both knees replaced simultaneously, the orthopedic surgeon should have a detailed discussion with the patient about what to expect. Because of the special considerations involved in bilateral knee replacement, its especially important to choose a highly experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement.
Patients should also choose a hospital that performs a high volume of joint replacements, such as HSS. The entire staff will be accustomed to dealing with the needs of patients before, during and after the surgery.
Knee replacement is a big step, but knowing the facts can help patients make an informed decision. After the surgery, most patients will tell you that in terms of arthritis pain relief and improved mobility, they wished they had done it sooner.
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What Is Bilateral Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is one of the most effective procedures offered to patients today. It allows someone suffering from a knee condition like arthritis to regain a better quality of life by decreasing knee pain and improving function.
For those suffering from knee pain in both knees, bilateral knee replacement surgeryalso called double knee replacementcan be an excellent option to get the treatment done all at once, rather than going through two separate surgeries.
Bilateral knee replacement surgery is considered elective surgery, but most patients are happy after having it done, and many say they wish theyd done it sooner.
Before recommending bilateral knee replacement surgery, a doctor will usually have their patient try non-surgical options for their knee pain first, such as:
- Weight loss
- Steroid injections
- Platelet-rich plasma injections or orthobiologic therapies
The main benefit of bilateral knee replacement surgery versus having two separate knee surgeries is convenience. It means less time away from work and one recovery period instead of two .
Who Is A Good Candidate For Bilateral Replacement
The best candidates are those who are active and have strength in the muscles, ligaments and tendons around their knees.
Youll also fare better if your general health is good. Its best if you have few other medical problems, such as any heart or lung disease.
Even then, Dr. Greene says, you should approach simultaneous surgery cautiously.
If youre young, healthy and a risk-taker, you can contemplate doing both knees, he says. I tell people the day of surgery, though, to tell me which knee is worse. That way, if the anesthesiologist tells me we need to stop after one knee which actually hasnt happened the more symptomatic knee is fixed.
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Keep Up With Paperwork
A knee replacement is a complex procedure that requires many professional services. As a result, a flurry of bills and reports will arrive from multiple providers and locations over the span of several weeks.
Dealing with the physical recovery process may already be stressful. Falling behind on paperwork and bills can add to that anxiety. If you can, take the lead on any actionable notices from the care team. Staying on top of the paperwork can help the person youre caring for focus on recovery.
To help keep paperwork organized, file everything in an accordion folder, or use a large binder with tabs for each type of correspondence.
Benefits Of Bilateral Knee Surgery
Many people consider undergoing bilateral Knee replacement because they have the following benefits:
- Less hospital stay compared to separate stays with single Knee surgery. An average hospital stay for a single knee replacement surgery is 2-3 days.
- Less time in returning to work and one time away from work
- Less time in rehab= Faster recovery time from double knee replacement
- Sometimes less cost too
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Should You Have Both Knees Replaced At The Same Time
When your knees are stiff, painful, and cant perform their job anymore due to arthritis, a complex fracture, or an injury that wont heal, you may need knee replacement surgery. If both knees are shot, you face a dilemma: Should you replace them at the same time and get the whole thing over with, or deal with one surgery at a time?
At Texas Orthopaedic Associates LLP with locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Plano, Texas, areas our expert orthopedists only recommend knee surgery when other, less-invasive options have failed. Knee replacement surgery removes damaged tissue, resurfaces the joint bones, and then separates the bones with a spacer so your knee can move freely and without pain again.
If you need to replace both knees, you can choose for either a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement or a staged bilateral knee replacement . To choose between simultaneous or staged surgeries, ask yourself the following questions:
Total Knee Replacement Surgery Your Recovery
- Total Knee Replacement Surgery Your Recovery
The recovery after knee replacement will be different for every patient.
The success of the surgery will depend not only on your age, health and wellbeing coming into the operation, but how well you commit to your own recovery and rehabilitation. Taking an active role is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome and this starts right from the moment you decide to have surgery.
Rehabilitation is a vital part of this process. It helps you to regain independence and confidence, as well as helping you to avoid injuries in the future. Our rehabilitation team includes physicians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who will guide you each step of the way as you regain your strength.
Please ask about any inpatient or outpatient, individual and group rehabilitation sessions that you can access through your hospital.
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