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 âquality of lifeâ 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 lifeâlike walking shopping or reasonable recreational pastimesâare inhibited or prevented by the knee pain it may be reasonable to consider the surgery.
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Knee Replacement Recovery Time
Knee replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that resurfaces a knee joint damaged by severe injuries or joint conditions such as arthritis. The recovery time for a knee surgery can vary depending on the severity of the underlying issue. Generally, knee replacement procedures include four steps:
- Preparing the injured bone and cartilage by removal.
- Positioning the metal implants where all cartilage and bone has been removed.
- Resurfacing the patella or kneecap.
- Inserting a medical-grade plastic spacer that helps keep artificial components moving efficiently.
While the steps of this procedure are variable, most patients can expect a fairly short and smooth recovery time after knee replacement.
Recovery Time For A Knee Replacement
If you see a knee replacement surgery in your future, you may be wondering what the recovery time may be before youre back up and running. Each patient is different and recovery time is dependent on several different factors. Factors such as health, stamina, expectations and the difficulty of the surgery may affect recovery time.
If youve already spoken to your doctor, you may be aware that patients are encouraged to begin walking the same day you had your surgery. This means youll be asked to walk around on your own, with the aid of a walker or other orthopedic device. You will probably go home the same day as the surgery if approved by the medical team but some patients may need to stay one to two days if the medical teams feels its necessary. If a patient requires extra attention or does not have home support, they may be transferred from the hospital to a rehabilitation center.
Recovery and rehabilitation are crucial if you have a total knee replacement surgery. It allows you to get back on your feet and return to an active lifestyle. The 12 weeks after surgery are important for recovery and rehabilitation. If you make the commitment to a plan and push yourself to do as much as possible each day, your chances of healing faster are higher.
To learn more about knee replacements or our opioid free surgery program, call our clinic at 504-412-1705.
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Looking After Your New Knee
- continue to take any prescribed painkillers or anti-inflammatories to help manage any pain and swelling
- use your walking aids but aim to gradually decrease the amount you rely on them as your leg feels stronger
- keep up your exercises to help prevent stiffness, but do not force your knee
- do not sit with your legs crossed for the first 6 weeks after your operation
- do not put a pillow underneath your knee when sleeping as this can result in a permanently bent knee
- avoid twisting at your knee
- wear supportive shoes outdoors
- do not kneel on your operated knee until your surgeon says you can
- raise your leg when sitting and apply an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel for 20 minutes every 3 or 4 hours to reduce any swelling
Page last reviewed: 02 August 2019 Next review due: 02 August 2022
Do Eat A Healthy Diet
Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. However, avoid alcohol after surgery because it retardshealing. Eat whole, unprocessed foods rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Keeping yourself at a healthy weight limits the stress on your knees. If you were overweight before yoursurgery, try a medically supervised weight loss plan to help you lose the weight and keep it off.
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What Is Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a surgical technique to repair the knee joint. Plastic and metal prosthetic parts are attached to the bones in the knee joint. During the procedure, damaged cartilage and bone are cut away. Then an artificial joint is put in place.
This surgery might be required for someone with a severe knee injury or people who experience pain from chronic arthritis. A sports medicine doctor might recommend knee replacement surgery based on your knees strength, stability, and range of motion. A variety of surgical techniques and prostheses can be used, depending on your weight, age, knee size and shape, activity level, and overall health.
Is Knee Replacement Major Surgery
The key indication for knee arthroplasty is to provide relief from pain caused by severe arthritis. Two types of knee replacement surgery is performed:
Before the procedure
Before the procedure, a complete physical examination, as well as several diagnostic tests including a blood test, will be done. Medical history , any medications and drug allergy if any should be informed to the doctor prior to the surgery. The patient is advised to stop smoking for as long as possible prior to the surgical procedure.
The types of used prostheses include the following:
Surgery is usually performed under general, spinal or epidural anesthesia. The procedure usually takes 1-2 hours, the orthopedic surgeon with excise the damaged cartilage or bone and replace it with a metal or plastic implant for restoration of function and alignment.
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Why You Might Say Nows The Time
Here are seven signs that the time might be right for a knee replacement:
Here Are Some Of The Reasons You Might Need Knee Surgery:
- Stiffness in the joint and pain makes it difficult to walk, stand up, or climb stairs
- You often have swelling in the knee area
- Chronic pain bothers you when resting
- The pain is disrupting your sleep
- The knee has defects or is bowed
- Medication and physical therapy havent been effective in managing the pain
If you can relate to any of these symptoms, then its time to talk to a sports medicine doctor about your treatment options.
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Do Follow Your Doctors Instructions On Caring For The Wound
To avoid post-op infection, be sure you understand how and when to change your bandage. If the skin aroundthe wound becomes red or drains, or if you develop a fever and chills, call your doctor right away. To avoidcomplications of a clot, call your doctor if your leg is tender, swells unduly below or above the knee, orif you develop pain in your leg or calf.
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Revision Knee Replacement Surgery
If the prior knee replacement component doesnt work for a longer time then it must be replaced to avoid any physical problem. You can opt for a second surgery known as revision total knee replacement which becomes essential if the initial surgery fails to prove effective.
The wear-and-tear on components, infection, component loosening and knee joint problems are the most common cause for revision surgery. Other reasons are mostly knee stiffness and bone fractures.
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How Long Does A Knee Replacement Last
Patients can extend the life of their knee replacements by complying with their physical therapy routines and avoiding high-impact activities, such as jumping or jogging. High impact activities cause friction between the man-made components of the replacement knee, causing wear and tear.
Revision Knee Replacement SurgeryIf the initial knee replacement components need to be replaced for any reason, a second surgery called a revision total knee replacement may be needed. Wear-and-tear on components, component loosening, infection, and knee joint instability are the most common possible causes for needing revision surgery. Other reasons include knee stiffness and bone fractures.
Patients should talk to their doctors about when is the best time to schedule knee replacement surgery.
Knee Replacement Surgeon In Merriam And Overland Park Ks
Your recovery journey does not need to be stressful. At Midwest Orthopaedics, P.A, well ensure that youll get the treatment you deserve. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons can address a range of general orthopedic issues. We specialize in total knee replacement, so you can rest assured that youll get the best service.
For more information about our services, you can at 362-8317. You can also schedule an appointment online. We will respond to your request within 48 hours. We look forward to serving you!
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What Is A Knee Replacement
A knee replacement is carried out to treat knee pain, usually due to knee osteoarthritis, which is gradual wear and tear of the joint. Arthritis accounts for the majority of the 90,000 knee replacements carried out in England and Wales annually.
During the procedure, both sides of the damaged joint are removed and replaced with a prosthesis or implant. If your arthritis is minimal, and youre under 65, you may be able to have a partial knee replacement. With this procedure the surgeon only replaces the damaged compartment, which means that the knee tends to bend better and feel more like a normal knee than after a partial knee replacement than it would with a total knee replacement. Your surgeon will recommend the surgery thats best for you, depending on your symptoms and X-ray results.
How To Look After Your New Knees
The new normal might be difficult for you to adapt. Heres what to do to properly adjust to your new knees
Regularly take your prescribed painkillers or anti-inflammatories to reduce any pain or swelling felt in the body.
Use your walking aids but try to rely less on them with time and walk on your own for improving the condition.
Continue to keep up with your health exercise to get rid of stiffness and other problems, but dont put great force on the knees.
Do not sit while your leg crossed for the first six weeks after your surgery. It can cause dislocation. Limit your sitting position.
Avoid using a pillow underneath the knee while sleeping. It can result in permanent knee bend.
Lift your leg while sitting or applying an ice pack covered in a tea towel for 20 minutes after every 3 to 4 hours to decrease any swelling.
- Try to avoid twisting at your knee.
- Always wear supportive footwear outdoors.
- Avoid kneeling on your operated knee in the first 6 months after the surgery.
In the period of initial healing, the patient may constantly require assistance for their movement and the need for a caretaker becomes essential.
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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.
Avoid Mistakes To Recover Faster
How long does it take to recover from total knee replacement? Will it be relatively easy or frustratingly hard, speedy or last over a year? This is the million dollar question. You can make a big difference in your recovery speed by avoiding the 5 biggest mistakes that most people make. Not doing any of your exercises would be the stupidest mistake but I am going to assume you are MUCH smarter than that after all you are here searching out and seeking the best answers to all your questions.
Here it is for all the wise ones. Listen up and take notes so that you too can avoid the 5 biggest mistakes that will shipwreck your recovery from a total knee replacement.
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Exercise #: Counter Push
This exercise helps strengthen the upper body. On the first few days after surgery, you will likely use some sort of walker, crutches, or poles for assistance. If your upper body isnt strong, you will become tired before you can give your new knee a good workout.
- Stand facing a heavy desk or kitchen counter.
- Securely grab the edge of the counter or desk with your hands so your arms will be about shoulder width apart.
- Pull tall, keeping your torso tight and not allowing your bum to stick up in the air.
- Bend your elbows out to the side and slowly lower yourself to the counter or desk, allowing your heels to come off the floor as you lower.
- Go only as low as you can go and still push yourself back to the starting position.
- Repeat the pushups for a total of 15 times or repetitions.
Pro Tip: Be sure to work both legs with these exercises. After surgery, the good knee will need to be strong enough to support you while your new knee heals. If you feel like the leg that will receive the new knee is significantly weaker, you may find it beneficial to do more exercises with the weaker leg. You might do two sets on the weaker side and just one set on the stronger side.
What Happens After The Surgery
After the operation, a dressing is fitted around your knee. This dressing is to protect a tube which will drain off blood from your knee. This will be in place for the first 24 hours after your operation. The blood can be filtered and put back into your body via a drip reducing the need for a post-operative blood transfusion.
Once the drain has been removed and you have fully recovered from the anaesthetic, you will be invited to test out the replacement by walking around. This will be done under the supervision of the ward physiotherapists. By this time, youll be able to fully bear your weight on the operated leg, but will need to use a pair of crutches or walking sticks in the early stages of your recovery.
You will be offered painkillers to enable you to sleep comfortably and begin exercising your knee effectively. Its vital that your pain levels are well controlled following surgery. If you feel excess pain, the ward staff must be alerted. When not walking or exercised, the leg must be kept in an elevated position. You will also be instructed on how to ice the knee properly after you leave the surgery and recover at home, along with being provided with a regime of simple exercises which will help get your knee comfortably moving again, strengthen your muscles and aid your circulation.
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Why Revisions Are More Complex
Revision replacement is difficult for several reasons. First, when someone has surgery, scar tissue develops, and soft tissues become less identifiable. Performing the second surgery is always more difficult. Second, when performing a knee replacement, bone is removed. When performing a revision knee, often more bone has to be removed, and some may be lost as a result of the problem with the implant. Maintaining adequate bone to support the new implant can be a challenge. Finally, obtaining a knee that is flexible enough to allow for motion, yet stable enough to keep you steady, is also more difficult in revision situations.
How Bad Does Your Knee Have To Be Before Replacement
Surgery is a last resort for many patients. In most cases, doctors will try more conservative treatments first before recommending any type of joint surgery, including knee replacement. Conservative treatments mean treatments that dont use surgery. These include exercise, physical therapy, injections, medications, or non-surgical procedures.
Some doctors also recommend that patients lose weight before considering knee replacement surgery. Losing weight can often improve knee pain.
But if you have these symptoms, you may want to consider a more aggressive treatment: knee replacement surgery.
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Knee Replacement Recovery Phase : Weeks 1
The first week after undergoing knee arthroplasty, patients can expect to be back in the comfort of their own homes. One of the first and most important things to know during this period is your follow-up appointment with your surgeon. Typically the follow-up is scheduled about two weeks after the knee replacement and is something every patient should markdown as must-attend.
Phase 2 of knee replacement rehabilitation also includes patients becoming more active with therapy. Some patients start treatment at home, while others can attend an outpatient clinic. One is not necessarily better than the other it just depends on a persons health status.
Some goals and priorities to be aware of include:
- Reduce pain and stiffness
- Being able to transfer from lying to sitting to standing safely with the help of assistive devices
- Being able to heel strike while ambulating
- Increase knee range of motion
- Ability to extend leg without lag
- Being consistent with the home exercise program provided
- Understanding the pain scale and the difference between hurt and harm.
Your physical therapist will design a rehab program to help you reach these goals without harming the new knee hardware or incision. Examples of exercises to expect for the weeks 1-3 after your surgery include:
- Heel Slides
- Stationary bike with little to no resistance
- Hamstring Curls
Note: These therapeutic modalities can and often are used throughout all phases of knee rehabilitation.