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How Dangerous Is Knee Surgery

Myths And Facts About Knee Replacement Surgery

Common knee surgery not worth it for middle-aged patients?

Knee replacement surgery involves replacing the worn-out or diseased knee joint with an artificial joint called a prosthesis.;;Knee replacement surgery;is beneficial in relieving pain and restoring your lost disabilities. It has a 95% success rate. Despite the fact that the surgery can be a good treatment option, many people have misconceptions regarding it preventing them from exploring this treatment option.

Knee Replacement: Risks And Activity

Risks for Total Knee Replacement

It is important that you understand that there are risks associated with any major surgical procedure and total knee replacement is no exception. This section is not meant to alarm you, but you really do need to know these kinds of things in order to make the decision as to whether you wish to proceed with a total knee replacement.

These risks include the risk of death. Thats true of any major surgical procedure requiring anesthesia and blood transfusion. The risk of death in our hospital for total knee replacement is in the order of 1 per 1,000 cases so that you can see that the risk is very small, but its not 0. The specific risk for you will depend upon your general medical condition, your age, and the difficulty of the surgical procedure, but the risk of death itself is really very small.

Although precautions are taken, there are other potential risks that need to be taken into account. These include infection, limitations in knee motion, and loosening of the prosthesis. Although these do not occur frequently, you should be aware that they could occur.

Are There Any Reasons Why I Cant Have A Knee Replacement

Unfortunately, some people may not be able to have a knee replacement even though their arthritis is very bad. This may be because:

  • your thigh muscles are very weak and may not be able to support your new knee joint
  • there are deep or long-lasting open sores in the skin below your knee, increasing your risk of infection.

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What Is A Total Knee Replacement

A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure whereby the diseased knee joint is replaced with artificial material. The knee is a hinge joint that provides motion at the point where the thigh meets the lower leg. The thighbone abuts the large bone of the lower leg at the knee joint.

During a total knee replacement, the end of the femur bone is removed and replaced with a metal shell. The end of the lower leg bone is also removed and replaced with a channeled plastic piece with a metal stem. Depending on the condition of the kneecap portion of the knee joint, a plastic “button” may also be added under the kneecap surface. The artificial components of a total knee replacement are referred to as the prosthesis.

The posterior cruciate ligament is a tissue that normally stabilizes each side of the knee joint so that the lower leg cannot slide backward in relation to the thighbone. In total knee replacement surgery, this ligament is either retained, sacrificed, or substituted by a polyethylene post. Each of these various designs of total knee replacement has its own particular benefits and risks.

Which Type Should I Have

Signature Total Knee Replacement

Your surgeon will discuss this with you. It will depend on how much of your knee is affected by arthritis – it may not be possible to know this until your surgeon has started your operation.

If you have a partial knee replacement it is more likely that you will need to have it done again, than if you have a total knee replacement . Sometimes the reason for choosing to have a partial knee replacement is that it leaves the option to have a TKR at a later date. However it’s also more likely that you will need to have your total knee replacement re-done, if you had a partial knee replacement done before having your total knee replacement.

There are over 150 different designs of knee replacement and some of the differences between all the different types and makes of knee replacement parts aren’t known, particularly how they perform in the long term. In many countries, registries have been set up so that anyone who has had a knee replacement is entered into the register. The information collected is used to monitor how their replacement is performing. In the UK, patients also enter information about their health and quality of life before and after their operation.

A study of over 500 patients with osteoarthritis of the inner part of their knee has compared the effectiveness of total and partial knee replacement. The two groups were followed up five years after surgery, and asked to complete questionnaires about pain, activity and day-to-day living.

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The Consequences Of Knee Osteoarthritis

Our aging population and the growing numbers of those being overweight both contribute to osteoarthritis in the knee joint. Mobility becomes sacrificed as life activities are curtailed.

Pain is the initial reason most people talk with their physician. Patients complain of stiffness and the inability to function normally. Much of OA is related to inflammation inside the joint and is triggered by motion and load bearing.

Resting your knee may help some, but many find they still experience pain during rest and at night. Your pain may be dull and achy or become more intense and unpredictable.

Severe and consistent pain is one of the major reasons patients decide to have knee replacement. As the knee continues to deteriorate, associated health problems arise. Over time this pain can lead to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, loss of intimacy, and risks of falling.

When To Delay Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is the last resort when all other options have failed to improve the symptoms. The consideration for surgery is based on the severity of symptoms.

If non-surgical interventionssuch as losing weight, taking medications, doing physical therapy, and using assistive deviceshave improved the symptoms and quality of life, knee replacement surgery may not be needed yet.

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Recovering From Knee Replacement Surgery

For the majority of people knee replacements are very successful. There is a lot of evidence from research showing that patients have less pain and are much more mobile after surgery and this often greatly improves their quality of life. Outcomes are getting better too, as more research is carried out on what the best operation is and how to reduce the risk of complications.

However about 8 people out of 100 are unhappy with their knee replacement 2-17 years later. If they have had to have their knee replaced a second time , they are twice as likely to be unhappy with the outcome.

What Patients Should Consider A Total Knee Replacement

Knee replacement gone bad

Total knee replacement surgery is considered for patients whose knee joints have been damaged by either progressive arthritis, trauma, or other rare destructive diseases of the joint. The most common reason for knee replacement in the United States is severe osteoarthritis of the knees.

Regardless of the cause of the damage to the joint, the resulting progressively increasing pain and stiffness and decreasing daily function lead the patient to consider total knee replacement. Decisions regarding whether or when to undergo knee replacement surgery are not easy. Patients should understand the risks as well as the benefits before making these decisions about knee replacement.

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What Is Recovery Like

You can start moving the knee the day of your surgery. Your knee function should return rapidly and with less pain than with total knee replacement. Youll work with a physical therapist to mobilize the knee while in the hospital and for two to four weeks after discharge. Youre usually discharged no later than one or two days after surgery.

Youll need medication to guard against formation of a blood clot while in the hospital and maybe for a period of time after youre discharged.

If all goes well, you should be back to full activity in about six to eight weeks. Impact exercises or jogging/running may not be recommended because the replacement includes a bearing surface that can wear. However, activities like tennis, skiing, and other sports are okay. This, of course, is why partial knee replacement is even being considered to return you to activities you enjoy.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/16/2020.

References

Other Risks And Complications

Aside from risks associated with anesthesia and infection, there are other potential complications:

  • A prosthesis component can become loose or dislocate if it does not seal to the bone well or is misaligned.
  • Legs may be slightly different lengths after surgery. In some cases, a shoe insert can remedy this problem.
  • The new knee may be stiff. Most people who have undergone knee replacement surgery can bend their knees at least 115 degrees. However, some people develop scar tissue that hinders flexibility. This limited flexibility is more common in people who had limited flexibility before surgery.
  • An allergic reaction to the prosthesis or bone cement can occur. In these cases, the bone cement and prosthesis must be removed.
  • Damage can occur to the knees patella and/or the soft tissue that support the joint between the patella and the femur.
  • In rare cases there is damage to surrounding arteries, veins, and/or nerves.

For the most part, complications can be treated. A surgery followed by complications may still be considered successful if pain is alleviated and function improves over the long term.

See Post-Surgical Knee Replacement Precautions and Tips

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More Questions About Knee Replacement Risks Talk With An Orthopedist

Choosing to have knee replacement surgery is a big decision. And the truth is, there may be other non-surgical treatment options that can help heal your knee pain.

Whether youre wondering about individual knee replacement risks or want a second opinion, dont delay getting the care and answers you need. Make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor and take the first step toward healing your knee pain.

Why Is Delaying Knee Replacement Surgery Risky

WTF Pictures  January 03, 2015

Time is of great importance to maximize the benefits of knee replacement surgery. A study published in The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has revealed that waiting too long before getting a knee replacement can deprive you of its full benefits.

When knee replacement is delayed, arthritis can further deteriorate the condition and function of the affected knee. This leads to the inability to exercise and very limited physical activity, consequently contributing to other lifestyle diseases.

In knee replacement, a patients mobility before the surgery is an indicator and predictor of expected mobility after the surgery. Compared to patients who get timely surgery, those who delay still have reduced mobility even after the operation.

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How Long Does It Take To Walk After A Knee Replacement

Most patients progress to a straight cane, walker or crutches within two or three days after surgery. As the days progress, the distance and frequency of walking will increase.

Patients are usually able to drive a car within three to six weeks after surgery and resume all other normal activities by or before six weeks. Complete recuperation and return to full strength and mobility may take up to four months. However, in many cases, patients are significantly more mobile one month after surgery than they were before they had their knee replacement

When Knee Replacement Is Needed

If you are suffering from osteoarthritis, then you must need to go for knee surgery, however, if you have tried all the osteoarthritis treatments but none helped you then you surely need a knee replacement.

Note: If you are considering surgery and are a resident of Patna, Bihar,; then do consult Dr. Ramakant Kumar the best knee replacement doctor in Patna.;

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Risks Of The Procedure

As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Some possiblecomplications may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bleeding

  • Blood clots in the legs or lungs

  • Loosening or wearing out of the prosthesis

  • Fracture

  • Continued pain or stiffness

The replacement knee joint may become loose, be dislodged, or may not workthe way it was intended. The joint may have to be replaced again in thefuture.

Nerves or blood vessels in the area of surgery may be injured, resulting inweakness or numbness. The joint pain may not be relieved by surgery.

There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Besure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure.

Myth 2: Bending Of The Knee Or Sitting On The Floor Is Difficult Even After The Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement gone bad. Dr. Bedikian’s patient shares her experience.

Fact:;;Everyone has a misconception that it is difficult to bend knee after the replacement, but it is not true. The fact is that it depends mainly on the quality of the surgery, the prosthesis used and post-operative rehabilitation. Many types of prosthesis allow the same range of movements as the normal joint.

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Why Delaying The Knee Surgery Can Be Dangerous

Many people postpone their knee replacement surgery until the pain restricts their movement and take a massive toll over their lifestyle. Knee replacement surgery in Pune is one of the most-effective and preferred surgeries for patients suffering from osteoarthritis. However, one must sign-up for the operation at the right time. Delay in the surgery may not offer a 100% satisfactory result, and if performed early, it may trigger other uninvited health conditions.

Planning to undergo total knee replacement surgery can be a life-changing experience for most of the patients. Many fear the surgical risks and hence, keep postponing the appointment. In this blog, we will find out how delaying the surgery can affect your knees, and when is the right time to have the surgery?

Why Delay?

It takes years for some people to come in terms with the need for knee replacement surgery. They keep ignoring the appointments and skip follow-up meetings with the doctor unless the pain and mobility problems become unbearable.

Surgery is a big decision. Not to forget mentioning the expense and cost of bringing yourself back in the game post-surgery. So, the doctors first recommend patients to undergo a less invasive treatment. It includes:

  • Prescribed medicines
  • Alternative therapies
  • Injections

If all these options fail to alleviate the patients knee pain, the best knee specialist in Pune would suggest TKR .

When is the right time to perform knee surgery?

It Will Slow Down Your Recovery Process

If your activity levels drop due to chronic pain or you find yourself wheelchair-bound as a result of osteoarthritis, the muscles in your legs may begin to deteriorate. Muscle mass already declines with age, so by further reducing your activity levels, you may experience compound effects that slow down your physical recovery. It could also make post-operative recovery procedures, like physical therapy, all the more challenging.

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Nerve Or Blood Vessel Damage

During surgery, theres a slight chance that the nerves, veins or tissue around your knee can be damaged. Damaged nerves or blood vessels can cause numbness, pain or lower blood flow around the knee. Usually, any damage will heal on its own over time. In some cases, a procedure may be recommended to help fix the issue.;

What Is Partial Knee Replacement

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A partial knee replacement is an alternative to total knee replacement for some people with osteoarthritis of the knee. This surgery can be done when the damage is confined to a particular compartment of the knee. In a partial knee replacement, only the damaged part of the knee cartilage is replaced with a prosthesis.

Once partial knee replacement was reserved for older patients who were involved in few activities. Now partial knee replacement is often done in younger people as their recovery is quicker and usually less painful. About 5% to 6% of people with arthritic knees are estimated to be eligible for partial knee replacement.

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Pain And Other Physical Complications

Knee replacement surgery can result in physical complications ranging from pain and swelling to implant rejection, infection and bone fractures.

Pain may be the most common complication following knee replacement. Its normal for patients to experience some degree of pain up to six months after surgery. But if pain persists past six months after the procedure, its generally considered to be long-term, or chronic, pain.

Several studies have looked at the frequency of chronic pain among total knee replacement patients. Findings suggest anywhere from 16 percent to 44 percent of patients are reporting this side effect.

It is also possible that the true prevalence of chronic pain after TKA is even higher than estimated in research studies, as some patients may be reluctant to report that they have pain, authors of a 2018 article published in EFFORT Open Reviews wrote.

Knee Replacement Loosening Symptoms

Knee Replacement Surgery Risks: Understanding Possible Complications And How To Reduce Their Likelihood

Remember when taking the stairs, running after the bus or sinking into a comfy couch were no big deal? You werent thinking about how much work your knees were doing. But now that youre dealing with chronic pain, the stress on your knees may be something you think about daily and a knee replacement may be on your mind.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, over 790,000 knee replacement surgeries are performed in the United States every year. Knee replacements help improve your mobility, reduce knee pain and get you back to doing the things you love. But as with any medical procedure, its important to understand the possible risks of having knee replacement surgery.;

The good news is that knee replacement surgery is generally considered a safe procedure. Complications are very rare. In fact, various studies show that over 95% of patients recover from knee replacement surgery without complications.

So, what are the knee replacement risks you need to know? What you can do to reduce them? Below we answer those questions and more.

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