Nonsurgical Treatments Are No Longer Effective
If you have arthritis of the knee, youll probably start with more conservative measures such as medications, steroid injections or physical therapy to alleviate your symptoms. But at some point, they may not be enough.
Anti-inflammatories, injections and physical therapy are temporary measures to provide pain relief, but they dont reverse the underlying cause of pain and dont allow cartilage to regenerate, Heckmann says. As time passes, these arthritic conditions tend to progress in severity, rendering these types of treatments less and less effective.
At that point, surgery may be an option.
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.
What Is A Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement, also called knee arthroplasty or total knee replacement, is a surgical procedure toresurface a knee damaged by arthritis. Metal and plastic parts are used tocap the ends of the bones that form the knee joint, along with the kneecap.This surgery may be considered for someone who has severe arthritis or asevere knee injury.
Various types of arthritis may affect the knee joint. Osteoarthritis, adegenerative joint disease that affects mostly middle-aged and olderadults, may cause the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent bone in theknees. Rheumatoid arthritis, which causes inflammation of the synovialmembrane and results in excessive synovial fluid, can lead to pain andstiffness. Traumatic arthritis, arthritis due to injury, may cause damageto the cartilage of the knee.
The goal of knee replacement surgery is to resurface the parts of the kneejoint that have been damaged and to relieve knee pain that cannot becontrolled by other treatments.
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Injections For Knee Pain
Valaik says theres good science behind cortisone shots and other injections, such as hyaluronic acid injections, that lubricate the inner workings of the knee and help relieve arthritis pain.
According to Valaik, there is less evidence supporting the benefits of other injectable substances, including platelet-rich plasma and concentrated bone marrow or stem cells, but further studies will reveal more about their efficacy in treating knee arthritis.
Injections can provide temporary relief typically a few months which can help you stay on your feet and postpone surgery, he says.
What Are Some Types Of Knee Surgery
The most common knee surgeries involve arthroscopy â a surgical technique used to repair many different types of knee problems â or knee replacement.
Arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery used to diagnose and treat a wide range of knee problems. A keyhole surgery is one in which long, thin instruments are inserted into the patientâs body through small incisions.
For arthroscopic knee surgery, the surgeon inserts a probe with a small camera, called an arthroscope, into the knee joint. The scope displays pictures on a video monitor to help guide the surgeonâs work. Surgical instruments are inserted into the joint through a second incision.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons describes the following as the most common arthroscopic procedures for the knee:
- Removal or repair of a torn meniscus â a type of cartilage in your knee that cushions and stabilizes the joint
- Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament , which is a ligament that helps stabilize the knee joint
- Removal of inflamed synovial tissue
- Trimming of damaged articular cartilage
- Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
- Treatment of patella problems
- Treatment of knee sepsis
In a knee replacement operation, the surgeon removes damaged parts of the knee joint and replaces them with new parts made of materials such as metal, ceramic, or plastic. Contrary to the name of the procedure, the surgeon does not replace the entire knee joint.
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Dr Ramakant Kumar The Best Knee Replacement Doctor In Patna
Dr. Ramakant Kumar who ranks among the top 5 Orthopedic Doctor in Patna is one of the best knee arthroscopy doctors in Patna.
He had acquired the skills in orthopedic surgery from the prestigious hospital AIIMS, Patna.
Moreover, he has also done his international fellowship in knee surgery from SEOUL, South Korea.
On top of that, he is a gold-medalist in MBBS, and currently working as a senior orthopedist in Ruban Memorial Hospital.
An Artificial Meniscus May Soon Be Available
If you are suffering from knee pain following meniscus surgery or are without viable treatment options, the NUsurface®Meniscus Implant may provide an alternative option, once it has approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. NUsurfaces design mimics the function of the natural meniscus and redistributes weight across the knee joint. The implant is made from medical grade plastic and, as a result of its unique materials, composite structure, and design, does not require fixation to bone or soft tissues.
NUsurface can potentially address the treatment gap of those who are too old for meniscus repair and too young for total knee arthroplasty. U.S. clinical trials completed enrollment in June 2018, and the company expects to file for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval soon.
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Torn Cartilage In My Knee
Knee cartilage tears are often caused by sports injuries, but they can result from any activity involving twisting or bending of the knee. As you age, the everyday forces you put on your knees can wear out the cartilage, leading to a gradual injury that feels sudden you’re fine until one day, you squat or twist and you feel something ripping.
Because we lose cartilage naturally as we age, knee cartilage tears are more frequent in people over age 30.
Common causes of cartilage tears include:
- Climbing stairs or hills
- Playing a contact sport like football or soccer
- Playing a sport that requires pivoting, such as basketball or golf
- Walking on an uneven surface
Youve Had To Stop Doing The Things You Love
We all slow down a little as we age. Running your yearly marathon might become nightly walks around your neighborhood after dinner. Or you may stop playing competitive hockey in favor of casual games with friends. Making small adjustments because youre just not as spry as you used to be is part of life. But knee pain shouldnt keep you from doing activities you love.
No matter your passions, if youre pulling back or avoiding the things you love to do, talk with an experienced orthopedic doctor. At TRIA, we have orthopedic surgeons who specialize in working with people at all activities levels. Whether you want to get back to cross-country skiing or walking your dog, our doctors can work with you to create a plan that fits your lifestyle.
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What Should You Expect After Knee Revision Surgery
Most patients who undergo revision procedures can expect to have good to excellent results. Although expected outcomes include pain relief with increased stability and function, complete pain relief and restoration of function is not always possible.
Up to 20% of patients may still experience some pain following revision knee surgery. This can persist for several years after the procedure. Additionally recovery after revision total knee surgery is heavily dependent on the state and function of the knee prior to the revision surgery.
Take On Household Chores
Over the next several weeks, the person youre caring for will likely be unable to do anything that involves standing for long periods of time, stretching, or bending.
They may have a hard time completing household chores, preparing meals, or performing other tasks that require them to move from room to room.
Although they may be able to do light chores, like dusting, they wont be able to do any heavy cleaning. This typically means that vacuuming and laundry are out of the question. If possible, take on some of these chores or arrange for outside help.
You may also need to assist with shopping and meal preparation for a while. Consider preparing frozen meals in advance, and asking other friends or family members to drop off meals during the first few weeks of recovery.
Its important that your loved one is eating nutritious foods, taking prescribed medications, and getting plenty of rest immediately after surgery.
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Are You Seeing The Signs Of A Knee Replacement Surgery Then It May Be Time To Talk With A Doctor
If you have one or more of the signs that it might be time for a knee replacement surgery, make an appointment with one of our orthopedic doctors to talk about your options.
During your appointment, your doctor will perform an evaluation, which may include an X-rays or MRI of your knee. Theyll also talk to you about how your knee pain affects your ability to do activities you love and your goals for knee replacement surgery.
If surgery is your best option, theyll talk to you about what to expect, timing your surgery, the risks of knee replacement surgery and the recovery process. For the vast majority of people, knee replacement surgery provides a major improvement in their pain and mobility.
When youre ready to talk about surgery, make sure youre working with the best. At TRIA, our orthopedic surgeons understand that choosing to get your knees replaced is a personal decision. We never push patients toward surgery and will work with you to find a different treatment plan if youd prefer.
Ready to start the knee replacement conversation? Find an orthopedic doctor.
What Are The Risks Of Delaying Knee Replacement Surgery
Simply put, the longer you wait to get a knee replacement, the more wear and tear you put on your knees and the longer you live with increasing pain, stiffness or mobility issues. But there are a few other things to consider, including:
- As your knee condition worsens, your quality of life can also decrease. You may need to stop doing everyday activities, exercise or hobbies youre passionate about, which can lead to other health conditions such as depression.
- It can take longer for you to heal and rehab after surgery. When you put off surgery for too long, you can experience a continued loss of mobility and function in your joint. Plus, your body continues to age and your risk increases for developing other health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Individually or combined, each of these factors can make it harder and take longer for you to rebuild your strength after knee replacement surgery.
- You may not get the maximum amount of benefit from a new joint. If you wait too long, you may not get all the mobility and function improvements from a replacement joint that you couldve.
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Similar Conditions That Affect The Knee
Sometimes patients with knee pain don’t have arthritis at all. Each knee has two rings of cartilage called “menisci” . The menisci work similarly to shock absorbers in a car.
Menisci may be torn acutely in a fall or as the result of other trauma or they may develop degenerative tears from wear-and-tear over many years. Patients with meniscus tears experience pain along the inside or outside of the knee. Sometimes the pain is worse with deep squatting or twisting. Popping and locking of the knee are also occasional symptoms of meniscus tears.
Since some of these symptoms may be present with arthritis and the treatment of arthritis is different from that of meniscus tears, it is important to make the correct diagnosis. A good orthopedic surgeon can distinguish the two conditions by taking a thorough history, performing a careful physical examination, and by obtaining imaging tests. X-rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans may be helpful in distinguishing these two conditions.
Knee Joint Infections
Also called infectious arthritis or septic arthritis, a joint infection is a severe problem that requires emergent medical attention. If not treated promptly knee infections can cause rapid destruction of the joint. In the worst cases they can become life-threatening.Symptoms of a knee joint infection include:
- severe pain
- fevers and
Again, a joint infection is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Characteristics Of Severe Arthritis Of The Knee
Pain is the most noticeable symptom of knee arthritis. In most patients the knee pain gradually gets worse over time but sometimes has more sudden flares where the symptoms get acutely severe. The pain is almost always worsened by weight-bearing and activity. In some patients the knee pain becomes severe enough to limit even routine daily activities.
Morning stiffness is present in certain types of arthritis. Patients with morning stiffness of the knee may notice some improvement in knee flexibility over the course of the day. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience more frequent morning stiffness than patients with osteoarthritis.
Swelling and warmth
Patients with arthritis sometimes will notice swelling and warmth of the knee. If the swelling and warmth are excessive and are associated with severe pain, inability to bend the knee, and difficulty with weight-bearing, those signs might represent an infection. Such severe symptoms require immediate medical attention. Joint infection of the knee is discussed below.
The knee joint has three compartments that can be involved with arthritis . Most patients have both symptoms and findings on X-rays that suggest involvement of two or more of these compartments for example, pain on the lateral side and beneath the kneecap . Patients who have arthritis in two or all three compartments, and who decide to get surgery, most often will undergo total knee replacement .
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What Is A Total Knee Replacement Exactly
In a knee arthroplasty, your orthopedic surgeon will not give you an entirely new joint.
Rather, the surgeon repairs your existing bone by removing damaged or diseased parts.
Your bones are then resurfaced with contoured metal or plastic implants.
The surgeon presses or cements the new components in place, using spacers to ensure that your bones will glide smoothly over each other just like your “real” knee before it became damaged.
Knee Replacement Alternatives To Consider
Crunching sounds as you climb stairs, chronic aching and swelling: Knee osteoarthritis is a real pain. If youre suffering with it, you may be considering surgery.
Getting a knee replacement is one approach, but you may not need surgery, at least not right away. And some patients cannot undergo knee replacement surgery for various reasons. Other people with knee pain are too young for a knee replacement the artificial knee is only likely to last 15 or 20 years, after which the person may need revision surgery.
There are several things you can try first, on your own or with a professionals help, that can help with knee pain and even delay the need for replacement, says Daniel Valaik, M.D., orthopaedic hip and knee specialist at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.
Arthritis doesnt go away, he explains. Of the thousands and thousands of patients Ive treated, Ive never seen anyones X-rays improve in terms of arthritis, unfortunately. But there are things you can do to lessen pain and stay more active.
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The Verdict: If Youve Answered Yes Its Time To Consider How Total Knee Replacement Surgery Can Help
If youve answered yes to one or more of our 5 telltale signs, its time to consider an option that will give you long-term relief: total knee replacement surgery.
This choice is the most permanent option to remedy your chronic knee pain once and for all.
Why not take back the mobility and excitement you used to have instead of living with knee pain when you dont have to?
Who Should Consider Total Knee Replacement Surgery
It is usually reasonable to try a number of non-operative interventions before considering knee replacement surgery of any type. Prior to surgery an orthopedic surgeon may offer medications knee injections or exercises. A surgeon may talk to patients about activity modification weight loss or use of a cane.
The decision to undergo the total knee replacement is a “quality of life” choice. Patients typically have the procedure when they find themselves avoiding activities that they used to enjoy because of knee pain. When basic activities of daily life–like walking shopping or reasonable recreational pastimes–are inhibited or prevented by the knee pain it may be reasonable to consider the surgery.
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Should I Have A Knee Replacement
To help you decide, you might want to ask your surgeon questions such as:
- What are the alternatives to surgery?
- What are the possible complications and how likely are they?
- What can I expect during the recovery period?
- How much improvement can I realistically expect after surgery?
- Would a new knee last all my life?
Radiofrequency Ablation For Knee Pain
If all of these methods fail to control your knee pain from osteoarthritis, there are still options. Radiofrequency ablation controls pain in the knees by destroying the sensory nerves that carry the pain signal from the knee to the brain.
RFA is likely a temporary fix, as nerves will grow back in six months to two years, and the pain may return.
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