What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery
When the surgery is over, you will need to stay in the hospitals recovery room for observation. Usually, patients can return to their hospital rooms within a few hours after their pulse, blood pressure, and breathing are stable. Since knee replacement is major surgery, its common for the patient to be in the hospital for a few days before returning home. You will begin physical therapy during this in-hospital time.
When its time to head home, your medical team will have a transition plan to help with continued physical therapy and pain management. Its crucial that you are diligent about following these recommendations to regain the range of motion and strength needed in the joint.
How Do I Determine If I Need A Knee Replacement
If youre considering knee replacement surgery, talk to an orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic surgeons specialize in operations to fix joints and muscles.
Your orthopedic surgeon will:
- Ask about your symptoms, including how severe they are and how long youve had them. The surgeon may also ask whether anything makes symptoms better or worse, or whether symptoms interfere with your daily life.
- Take your medical history to learn about your overall health.
- Examine you to check knee motion, strength and stability.
- Order X-rays of your knee. The images can help the surgeon understand how much damage is in your knee. Advanced imaging is rarely helpful in the arthritic knee.
The orthopedic surgeon will then make a recommendation for surgery or another treatment option.
Knee Replacement Surgery Recovery Time For The Elderly
A knee replacement surgery generally goes on for about an hour and a half. The recovery in this kind of procedure starts as soon as you wake up from the sedation.
Depending on the kind of knee replacement surgery, the standard recovery duration is around twelve weeks or three months. For the first couple of weeks, you would require crutches or another sort of assistance. Then, the range of motion would increase for the next 4 to 5 weeks as the swelling decreases. After that, with the aid of a therapist, the movement would increase as new muscles build around the newly replaced joint.
You May Like: Water On The Knee Treatments
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.
Getting Back To Normal
It will be some weeks before you recover from your operation and start to feel the benefits of your new knee joint. Make sure you have no major commitments including long-haul air travel for the first six weeks after the operation.
Keeping up your exercises will make a big difference to your recovery time. Youll probably need painkillers as the exercise can be painful at first. Gradually youll be able to build up the exercises to strengthen your muscles so that you can move more easily.
Don’t Miss: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
How Do You Know If You Need Knee Replacement Surgery
Each patient is unique, which is why it is essential to schedule an examination and testing with an experienced sports medicine doctor. Our team will determine a diagnosis before deciding if you need to schedule a date for surgery. The preference is always to use minimally-invasive treatments first before surgery is necessary.
But there are times when surgery is required. Whether the minimally-invasive treatments arent working, or youve had a severe injury, you might need to schedule surgery to achieve the recovery you desire.
Performing Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Knee arthroscopy can be done under general, regional, or local anesthesia. After adequate anesthesia, your surgeon will create ‘portals’ to gain access to the knee joint. The portals are placed in specific locations to minimize the potential for injury to surrounding nerves, blood vessels, and tendons. Through one portal, a camera is placed into the joint, and through others, small instruments can be used to address the problem. Patients who have arthroscopic knee surgery under a regional or local anesthesia can often watch their surgery on a monitor to see what is causing their problem.
The length of the knee arthroscopy procedure varies depending on what your doctor needs to accomplish. After surgery, your knee will be wrapped in a soft bandage. Depending on the type of surgery performed, your doctor may or may not allow you to place weight on the affected leg. Most patients will work with a physical therapist to regain motion and strength of the joint. The length of rehabilitation will also vary depending on what procedure is performed at the time of surgery.
Don’t Miss: What Do You Do For Water On The Knee
Summing Up Disadvantages Of Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a major surgery where the natural knee joint is amputated and a metal or plastic prosthesis is inserted. There are 14 disadvantages of knee replacement surgery which include the prosthesis wearing out, deep vein thrombosis, anesthesia complications, infection, loosening of the prosthesis, differences in leg length, allergic reactions, nerve damage, damage to tendons and ligaments, persistent pain, increased risk of heart attack and buildup of toxic metal ions. A recent randomized control study demonstrated knee replacement surgery is no better than physical therapy. Persistent pain after surgery is common. Bone marrow concentrate is an effective non-surgical treatment option for patients with knee osteoarthritis.
If you are committed to living a life without dependence on additive medication or the risks associated with knee replacement the good news is you have options. To learn if you are a candidate for bone marrow concentrate or PRP treatments. Speak with a board-certified, fellowship-trained physician who will review your history, imaging, and provide you with a candidacy rating. Schedule an in-office evaluation or telemedicine visit. Knee pain if left untreated gets worse. Act now before it is too late.
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Swelling After Knee Replacement
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
While knee arthroplasty is done by the orthopedic surgeon, to ensure good outcomes an interprofessional team is required that includes a physical therapist, nurses, an internist, and the primary care provider. After surgery, the patients require physical therapy to regain muscle mass and joint function. In addition, for good outcomes, the patients need to exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Nurses should educate the patient on a healthy diet, avoidance of tobacco and taking part in regular exercise.
Alternatives To Knee Replacement Surgery
The Centeno-Schultz Clinic has been using image-guided bone marrow concentrate injections for 15 years to help patients avoid knee replacement. We are experts in the treatment of knee injuries. We recently published the results of our randomized control study. 48 patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis were randomized to exercise therapy or bone marrow concentrate injection treatment. More than 2/3rds of the patients treated with this protocol met the functional criteria for success at 2 years out . So that procedure has helped many patients avoid big surgery.
Read Also: Can You Rebuild Cartilage In Your Knee
Faqs About Knee Replacement Surgery
Q1. Can I avoid Knee Replacement Surgery?
Ans. Your doctor will usually advise you to try different methods to relieve your symptoms before recommending surgery. Some of these non-surgical methods may include:
- Medications to reduce joint inflammation
- Cartilage repair supplements
However, if these non-surgical techniques do not reduce your joint pain and interfere with your day-to-day activities, hampering your quality of life, then surgery might be the best option for you.
Q2. How long does the surgery last?
Ans. Most Knee Replacement operations take 1 to 1.5 hrs to complete.
Q3. For how long will it pain after Knee Replacement Surgery?
- General pain may persist for several weeks post-surgery.
- Swelling may persist from 2-3 weeks up to as long as 3 to 6 months
- Bruising may persist for a couple of weeks following surgery.
Q4. Will I need any walking support after the surgery?
Ans. Most people need the help of crutches or a walker or a stick during the first few months after the surgery. A physiotherapist will teach you how to walk using your new knee and give you exercises to improve the mobility of your joint. Sometimes your Orthopedic surgeon might suggest you use a CPM machine . A CPM machine helps you maximize your range of motion and to reduce scar formation. However, once a full recovery is achieved, you do not need to use any support for doing your day-to-day activities.
Q5. How long will it take for complete recovery?
Ial Knee Replacement Overview
A is also known as unicompartmental knee arthroplasty or unicondylar knee arthroplasty. In this surgery, damaged cartilage and bone are removed and replaced only in one diseased compartment of the knee. This differs from a total knee replacement, in which bone and cartilage from the entire joint are replaced.
Partial knee replacement is suitable for people who experience arthritis only in one compartment of the knee joint, rather than throughout the joint. It can also provide relief from pain and stiffness in some people who have medical conditions that make them poor candidates for total knee replacement surgery.
You May Like: How To Stop Limping After Knee Surgery
How To Prepare For Knee Replacement
There are certain steps that can improve your recovery time and results. It is important to follow your knee replacement surgeonâs instructions both before and after surgery, as well as that of your rehabilitation therapistâs recommendations. Learn more about reparing for knee replacement by reading .
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement
In minimally invasive knee replacement, the surgical procedure is similar, but there is less cutting of the tissue surrounding the knee. The artificial implants used are the same as those used for traditional knee replacement. However, specially designed surgical instruments are used to prepare the femur and tibia and to place the implants properly.
Minimally invasive knee replacement is performed through a shorter incisiontypically 4 to 6 inches versus 8 to 10 inches for traditional knee replacement. A smaller incision allows for less tissue disturbance.
In addition to a shorter incision, the technique used to open the knee is less invasive. In general, techniques used in minimally invasive knee replacement are quadriceps sparing, meaning they avoid trauma to the quadriceps tendon and muscles in the front of the thigh. Other minimally invasive techniques called midvastus and subvastus make small incisions in the muscle but are also less invasive than traditional knee replacement. Because the techniques used to expose the joint involve less disruption to the muscle, it may lead to less postoperative pain and reduced recovery time.
Recommended Reading: Is Nano Knee Covered By Medicare
Lose Weight To Lessen Stress On Your Knees
Number one on Valaiks list of ways to reduce knee pain and delay knee replacement: reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.
Extra weight puts pressure on the knees and increases stress on the joint, increasing pain and making it hard to exercise, Valaik explains. 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.
I know its not easy, he says, but losing weight really helps, 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.
Dont Miss: Is Cycling Good For Arthritic Knees
How Long Will The New Knee Joint Last
For 8090% of people who have total knee replacement, the new joint should last about 20 years, and it may well last longer.
If you’ve had a partial knee replacement, you’re more likely to need a repeat operation about 1 person in 10 needs further surgery after 10 years.
The chances of needing another operation is greater if you’re overweight and/or involved in heavy manual work.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Get Rid Of Fat Around My Knees
Preparing For Knee Replacement Surgery
Before you go into hospital, find out as much as you can about what’s involved in your operation. Your hospital should provide written information or videos.
Stay as active as you can. Strengthening the muscles around your knee will aid your recovery. If you can, continue to do gentle exercise, such as walking and swimming, in the weeks and months before your operation. You can be referred to a physiotherapist, who will give you helpful exercises.
Read about preparing for surgery, including information on travel arrangements, what to bring with you and attending a pre-operative assessment.
When Can I Get Back To My Everyday Activities After Knee Arthroplasty
Your doctor will give you specific instructions. But many people can get back to their everyday activities three to six weeks after surgery.
Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions about recovery. You will gradually increase activity, starting with a slow walking program. You will be encouraged to stand, climb stairs and perform other normal household activities as soon as possible.
Read Also: Can I Regrow Cartilage In My Knee
Providing Better After Care For Patients
We’re funding research which aims to provide a standardised approach and assessment for virtual clinic follow-up of total joint replacement patients and subsequent management of patients identified as ‘at risk’ by this approach. This study would enable us to deliver better and more streamlined after care for patients.
Surgical Treatment Of Knee Pain
Partial knee replacement: The surgeon replaces the damaged portions of the knee with plastic and metal parts.
Total knee replacement: In this procedure, the knee is replaced with an artificial joint. It requires a major surgery and hospitalization.
Recommended Reading: How To Whiten Knees And Elbows
How Does The Patient Continue To Improve As An Outpatient After Discharge From The Hospital What Are Recommended Exercises
For an optimal outcome after total knee replacement surgery, it is important for patients to continue in an outpatient physical-therapy program along with home exercises during the healing process. Patients will be asked to continue exercising the muscles around the replaced joint to prevent scarring and maintain muscle strength for the purposes of joint stability. These exercises after surgery can reduce recovery time and lead to optimal strength and stability.
The wound will be monitored by the surgeon and his/her staff for healing. Patients also should watch for warning signs of infection, including abnormal redness, increasing warmth, swelling, or unusual pain. It is important to report any injury to the joint to the doctor immediately.
Future activities are generally limited to those that do not risk injuring the replaced joint. Sports that involve running or contact are avoided, in favor of leisure sports, such as golf, and swimming. Swimming is the ideal form of exercise, since the sport improves muscle strength and endurance without exerting any pressure or stress on the replaced joint.
Patients with joint replacements should alert their doctors and dentists that they have an artificial joint. These joints are at risk for infection by bacteria introduced by any invasive procedures such as surgery, dental or gum procedures, urological and endoscopic procedures, as well as from infections elsewhere in the body.
Reasons For The Procedure
Knee replacement surgery is a treatment for pain and disability in theknee. The most common condition that results in the need for kneereplacement surgery is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage.Damage to the cartilage and bones limits movement and may cause pain.People with severe degenerative joint disease may be unable to donormal activities that involve bending at the knee, such as walking orclimbing stairs, because they are painful. The knee may swell or”give-way” because the joint is not stable.
Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis thatresults from a knee injury, may also lead to degeneration of the kneejoint. In addition, fractures, torn cartilage, and/or torn ligaments maylead to irreversible damage to the knee joint.
If medical treatments are not satisfactory, knee replacement surgery may bean effective treatment. Some medical treatments for degenerative jointdisease may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Cortisone injections into the knee joint
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a knee replacementsurgery.
You May Like: Can You Use An Inversion Table After Knee Replacement