Reasons To Consider Knee Replacement Surgery
If you are experiencing knee pain that doesnt seem to get any better with other treatment options and is affecting your quality of life, it might be time to consider total knee replacement surgery.
If the points in this Healthline video apply to you, ask your doctor if surgery might be the right option for you.
Watch the video and read this article to help you decide.
Who Gets Knee Replacement Surgery
You may consider knee replacement surgery if:
- Arthritis in the knee or a knee injury has severely damaged the mating surfaces of the joint.
- Pain and stiffness give you trouble doing everyday activities, such as walking up or down stairs or getting in and out of a car.
- Swelling and inflammation dont go away with rest and medication.Your knee is deformed, such as looking swollen or not shaped normally.
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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Myth : Physiotherapy Is Necessary After The Surgery And The Recovery Is Very Slow
Fact: You may not need physiotherapy as the surgeons will teach all the exercises while you are in the hospital, which you have to do after the discharge. Most of the patients walk without any support after four weeks.
Knee replacement surgery is a good option to treat defects related to the knee. However, like any other surgery, there are some benefits and risks for this surgery too. If you have any misconceptions about the surgery, consult your doctor and plan for the treatment.
Pro: You Can Use Your Knee Freely Again
A joint replacement is a fresh start, like getting a brand new joint that you can use however you please. Its a very successful surgery that gets people back to functioning normally, Dr. Campbell says. Once youre completely healed , you shouldnt have to limit your activities at all. In terms of function, theres no restriction after joint replacement, Dr. Thakkar says. Patients can do whatever they want to do they can do any activity they want to pursue.
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What Is The Cost Of Knee Replacement
The average price of a knee replacement surgery is $57,000–at least, in the United States. But that likely wont be what you actually pay for your knee replacement. Thats because there are a wide variety of factors that can influence your actual out-of-pocket expenses: your insurance coverage, your deductible, copays, co-insurance, whether you have outpatient surgery or stay at a hospital, and so on.
Your costs may also vary depending on the location where your surgery will take place , your anesthesia, and the type of knee prosthesis. However, the cost of delaying a knee replacement procedure can sometimes be greater: more doctors appointments, more pain management, diminished mobility, and more chronic knee pain.
What About Exercise Following A Knee Replacement
Exercise and sport are recommended after knee replacement, apart from contact sports, which may weaken the cement and lead to loosening of the joint components. Recreational sports including golf, tennis and skiing will gradually become possible depending on how fit and sporty you were before the operation. Cycling is a very good way of building up strength and mobility after knee surgery.
Exercising the main muscle groups around your knee is very important both before and after having a knee replacement. You can download a selection of exercises that are designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilise the structures that support your knee. Try to perform these exercises regularly, for instance for 10 minutes six to eight times a day. However, its important to find a balance between rest and exercise so you dont overwork your knee. Its a good idea to get advice from your doctor or physiotherapist about specific exercises before you begin.
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Knee Replacement Surgery Isnt Typically Recommended If Youre Younger Than 50
Recommendations for surgery are based on a patients level of pain and disability. Most patients who undergo a total knee replacement are age 50-80. This is because, knee replacements are not as durable as your own knee and eventually wear out. On average, a total knee replacement lasts about 15-20 years. So if you have the procedure in your 40s, youll likely need another or revision surgery later in life. Whats worse than having to go through another surgery, is that the second surgery is much harder than the first.
The goal of the second knee replacement surgery is the same as the first to relieve pain and improve function. However, revision surgery is a longer, more complex procedure that requires extensive planning, specialized implants and tools, prolonged operating times, and mastery of difficult surgical techniques. Youll also be older and less resilient when you need the second surgery which is why doctors dont usually recommend knee replacement for younger patients.
Con: All Surgeries Come With Risks
Theres no such thing as a zero-risk surgery, Dr. Sutter says. Knee replacement surgery, in particular, comes with risks of infection, blood clots, and damage to surrounding tissues, he explains. The risk of complications is really low, but there are real risks, and I counsel all my patients on them. Some pre-existing health conditions may also be associated with a higher risk of complication, including diabetes, renal disease, and obesity. Your doctor will work with you to minimize any and all risk factors as much as possible before surgery.
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What Is Recovery From Partial Knee Replacement Like
Following surgery, most patients undergoing partial knee replacement can expect to spend one to two nights in the hospital. At HSS, most patients are able to walk with assistance, or independently, on the same day as their surgery. Typically, the patient is given a cane within a week of surgery to allow for increased independence and begins outpatient rehabilitation. Patients are often finished taking prescription pain medication within four weeks post-surgery.
Partial knee replacement usually involves minimal blood loss and is associated with a low rate of complications most patients can expect to be back to their daily activities within three to six weeks. Many patients find that after undergoing physical rehabilitation, they are able to return to sports such as golf, within six to ten weeks.
Is It Definitely Worth It To Have Knee Replacement Surgery
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I get asked all the time was your knee replacement surgery worth it. Without hesitation, my answer is always yes. The next question is almost always, really, even after all the pain and complications you had?still yes. Want to know why? Please continue reading to find out why I think knee replacement surgery is worth it.
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Can I Have Both Knees Replaced At The Same Time
Yes, you can have both knees replaced at the same time! However, such a procedure–called bilateral knee replacement–does present certain risks and challenges. Total knee replacement surgery is a significant operation on its own. Performing two at once puts more strain on the body–on your heart rate, blood pressure, and so on. Replacing both knees at once will also make your recovery and rehab more challenging. Youll need more help with your mobility, and youll need to be much more aggressive with your physical therapy.
But there are benefits to this approach. Some patients like the idea of bilateral knee replacement surgery because of the convenience factor: you only have to take time off of work once, schedule a surgery once, and go through rehab once. If you experience chronic knee pain in both of your legs, you may want to talk to your surgeon about replacing both knees at once. In the right ambulatory surgery center setting, you may even be able to undergo your bilateral knee replacement as an outpatient surgery.
What Are The Advantages Of Partial Knee Replacement Over Total Knee Replacement
Compared to total knee replacement, partial knee replacement better preserves range of motion and knee function because it preserves healthy tissue and bone in the knee. For these reasons, patients tend to be more satisfied with partial knee replacement compared with total knee replacement. They are still candidates for total knee replacement should they ever need it in the future.
There is also less blood loss during surgery, and knee motion recovers faster with partial knee replacement.
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Types Of Arthritis That Affect The Knee
This broad category includes a wide variety of diagnoses including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and many others. It is important that patients with these conditions be followed by a qualified rheumatologist as there are a number of exciting new treatments that may decrease the symptoms and perhaps even slow the progression of knee joint damage.
Patients with inflammatory arthritis of the knee usually have joint damage in all three compartments and therefore are not good candidates for partial knee replacement. However, inflammatory arthritis patients who decide to have total knee replacement have an extremely high likelihood of success. These patients often experience total, or near-total, pain relief following a well-performed joint replacement.
Osteoarthritis is also called OA or degenerative joint disease. OA patients represent the large majority of arthritis sufferers. OA may affect multiple joints or it may be localized to the involved knee. Activity limitations due to pain are the hallmarks of this disease.
OA patients who have symptoms limited to one compartment of the knee sometimes are good candidates for minimally-invasive partial knee replacement .
Will I Have Severe Pain After Knee Replacement Surgery
Pain is to be expected after the initial knee replacement, but it should not be severe. The first few days after surgery should include the highest level of pain, but your doctor will send you home with pain medication adequate for your pain level.
Most people fully recover from knee replacement surgery in about six months. There may be a small amount of pain and soreness for the duration of the healing process, but this is normal. If you find yourself in severe pain after knee replacement surgery, call your doctor. You could be experiencing complications that require additional treatment.
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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.
What Happens During Partial Knee Replacement
During partial knee replacement, the orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision to gain access to the affected compartment of the knee. He or she gently moves supporting structures of the knee out of the way and removes damaged cartilage and bone tissue from the surfaces of the tibia and the femur in the arthritic area. The surgeon then prepares these surfaces for insertion of the prosthesis components which are specifically sized to the patients joint. Cement is used to secure these components. All surrounding structures and tissues are restored to their anatomic position and the incision is closed.
Depending on which compartment is affected and whether the patients anterior cruciate ligament is intact, the surgeon will use either a unicondylar fixed bearing knee replacementthe most commonly used prosthesisor a mobile bearing unicondylar knee replacement. These prostheses are made of plastic and metal components.
Figure: Example of a fixed bearing unicondylar knee replacement
Figure: Mobile bearing unicondylar knee replacement
Some surgeons at HSS apply computer-assisted techniques and robotic tools to partial knee replacement. This technology allows the surgeon to create and manipulate a 3D image of the patients knee in advance of surgery, a process that allows for highly precise removal of damaged tissue and refined positioning of the prosthesis during the actual procedure, says , Attending Orthopedic Surgeon at HSS.
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Weighing The Pros And Cons Of Surgery
At least for now, surgery is the only way to stop or cure OA, says Kirk A. Campbell, M.D., orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone Health. But that doesnt mean its right for everyone. There are many non-surgical ways to manage OA first, he says, but knee replacement is available if those arent sufficient. The most important thing to know is that you dont have to live in pain, Dr. Campbell says. If you think surgery might be right for you, consider the following pros and cons, and then work with your doctor to decide the best path forward.
Who Is Offered Knee Replacement Surgery
You may be offered knee replacement surgery if:
- you have severe pain, swelling and stiffness in your knee joint and your mobility is reduced
- your knee pain is so severe that it interferes with your quality of life and sleep
- everyday tasks, such as shopping or getting out of the bath, are difficult or impossible
- you’re feeling depressed because of the pain and lack of mobility
- you cannot work or have a social life
You’ll also need to be well enough to cope with both a major operation and the rehabilitation afterwards.
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Lose Weight To Lessen Stress On Your Knees
Extra weight puts pressure on the knees and increases stress on the joint, increasing pain and making it hard to exercise. Research compiled by the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center confirms that carrying extra pounds raises your risk of developing knee arthritis and speeds up the destruction of cartilage that cushions the joint.
Its not easy, but losing weight can help, whether youre dealing with arthritis in one or both knees. If you are overweight or obese, consulting with a nutritionist or a bariatric specialist may be the right place to start.
Average Cost Of $49000
The researchers say there are now more than 640,000 of these operations performed each year, at an annual cost of around $10.2 billion. According to Healthline, the average cost of a total knee replacement surgery in the U.S. is $49,000.
Perhaps one reason for the rising number of these operations is the increasing number of Baby Boomers now on Medicare. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid covers knee and hip replacements, and they are among the most common surgeries it pays for.
The Mount Sinai researchers concluded that in terms of cost-effectiveness, the current protocol is more expensive and less effective than it would be if it were limited to those patients in severe pain.
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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.
Knee Replacement Surgery Statistics You Should Know
A knee replacement is an operation that involves replacing some or all of the damaged joint with prosthetic materials, and this surgerys medical name is knee arthroplasty. This procedure is performed to greatly reduce or eliminate knee pain that does not respond well to nonsurgical treatments, such as cortisone injections, hyaluronic injections, or PRP injections.
Knee replacement surgery is usually performed to relieve severe knee pain caused by arthritis. The surgery can be a partial knee replacement or a total knee replacement, depending on how much damage your knee has suffered.
Doctors have been performing knee replacements since the 1960s, and the technologies and techniques involved just keep getting better and better. Lets talk about a few statistics related to knee replacement surgery, and where you can go in Palm Beach County for treatment that works to address your knee pain.
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