Immediately After The Operation
After the operation, you can expect:
- Your knee is covered with a dressing and a drainage tube removes excess fluids from the wound.
- You are monitored by nursing staff who regularly check your vital signs .
- You are given antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
- You are given medications to thin your blood and reduce the risk of clots both during and after the operation.
- Strong pain relief can be given via an epidural or drip.
- You can start eating again on the second day after your operation.
- Nurses encourage you to move your feet and bend your other leg as soon as you can this helps to reduce the risk of clot formation.
- You are encouraged to walk around on the second day after surgery.
- Physiotherapists show you how to perform knee exercises.
- Occupational therapists advise you on how to best modify your home to make daily life easier during your recovery .
- Knee replacement surgery without complications usually involves a seven to 10 day hospital stay.
- Your stitches are removed about 10 days after surgery.
Who Can Help With My Joint Pain Or Arthritis
Your PCP will guide you in the right direction regarding which specialist you need to see in further treating your health concerns. Many health insurance plans require that a PCP first refer the patient to a consulting specialist before a visit to this specialist is covered by your medical plan.
If you suffer pain and disability due to arthritis, body trauma, injury, or an accident , an orthopedist can help. The staff at Orthopaedic Associates utilizes both cutting-edge therapies and traditional treatments to address a variety of orthopedic conditions.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call 892-1440 or fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form. We look forward to hearing from you.
How Is Knee Replacement Surgery Performed
A partial knee replacement is a procedure in which only the damaged parts of the knee joint are removed. Mercys orthopedic surgeons are the first in Maryland to offer MAKO partial knee resurfacing, an innovative breakthrough procedure powered by RIO® robotic arm technology, for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
For a traditional total knee replacement, a 6-10 inch incision is made in the front of knee. The damaged knee joint is removed and an implant inserted to form a new knee joint. Mercy’s orthopedic surgeons are proud to offer MAKO total knee replacement. This procedure provides the same precision and accuracy as MAKO’s partial procedure and offers patients with severe joint degeneration the opportunity to reclaim a natural range of motion in the knee.
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What You Need To Know About Knee Replacement Surgery
American adults undergo approximately 600,000 total knee replacements every year. This surgery involves the removal of all or part of your knee joint and the replacement of it with prosthetic parts made of metals and plastic resins. This highly successful procedure restores arthritic or otherwise compromised knee joints, giving people pain-free, fluid movement.
Considering knee arthroplasty? Heres what you need to know about the evaluation process, procedure, and recovery.
Why Might I Need A Total Knee Replacement
You might need a total knee replacement if you have significant damage to your knee joint. Different types of medical conditions can damage this joint, such as:
Injury or fracture of the knee joint
Bone tumor in the knee joint
This damage might be very painful and limit your normal activities. The procedure may help decrease your pain, improve your joint mobility, and quality of life. Usually, healthcare providers only recommend total knee replacement when you still have significant problems after trying more conservative treatments, like pain medicines and corticosteroid shots .
Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of having minimally invasive total knee replacement instead of traditional total knee replacement. Minimally invasive total knee replacement uses a smaller incision than a traditional knee replacement, so it may lead to less pain and decreased recovery time. It is not yet clear whether the procedure leads to an increased risk of certain complications, though.
In some cases, you may have other surgical options, like shortening the bone or a partial knee replacement. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of all your options.
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New Types Of Knee Replacement Surgeries In 2019
Basic Overview Knee replacements are surgeries that are generally performed when the person suffers from a specific medical condition called arthritis, or it can also be due to reasons like ligament tear, cartilage defects and major fractures in the area that call for the replacement. Knee replacement surgeries are also known as knee arthroplasty, and it is a procedure to improve or partially and fully remove the surfaces of the knee that reduces the pain, removes the disability, and creates longevity for the knee as well as improving the way of moving and living for the individual.
Designs and Particularity Knee surgeries are complicated procedures and need to be completed and done with an equal amount of care and precision since the knee joins two of the longest and largest bones that provide the support to the entire body. So hence, for this precision, doctors can choose the material, the design that will go well with your body type, and height and also with the amount of work you do.
The surgery generally takes around 1-2 hours to finish, and the equipment used can be made of either metal, plastic, or ceramic that are easy to move with. A common design would replace the back of the knee ligament, called posterior cruciate ligament, whereas another one replaces the anterior cruciate ligament. Some designs are given for the partial replacement, while others are designed as per what the person requires at that point of time.
Ashis Kumar is a professional blogger.
What The Alternatives To Knee Replacement
A healthcare provider may recommend knee replacement surgery after other treatments for knee pain dont help anymore. These earlier options may include:
- Exercise or physical therapy to strengthen the muscles around the joint which will provide stability.
- Medications such as NSAIDs and cortisone shots.
- Walking aids or supports and bracing.
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A Cpm Machine May Be Used
You may find that you have been scheduled to have your repaired leg strapped into something resembling an old torture device, called a CPM machine. Be thankful. It keeps the joint from stiffening up, and makes getting up and your post-op physical therapy easier in the long run.
This device is a framework with a motor and hydraulic shaft and piston sliding on a track under a cloth covered cradle that supports your lower leg. As it runs, it gently pulls and pushes your leg from bent to extended in a repetitive cycle. I was put into it for two hours twice a day.
Inquire about having one rented for use when you get home if the doctor writes a prescription as medically necessary, most insurance, including Medicare, will pay for it. You must convince your doctor that YOU need the gizmo, and get him to write that prescription.
I neglected to mention this to my doctor, as I did not realize just how helpful it would be. You WILL need strong help at home to use it, though–the thing is heavy–it always took two nurses to lift it on and off the bed–even guys.
Five Months Lateran Update
So, what happens months down the road when your recovery progress has been interrupted, or not gone as well as you’d hoped? In my case, my husband’s health deteriorated, and as his sole caretaker, I was sidetracked from keeping up with my own therapy and exercises as well as I should have.
There are a few options available, most of which involve some pain. How much pain depends on your own level of pain tolerance. Mine is near zero, so it was a tough challenge.
Physical therapy will continue, but there are other things added to the mix.
What Activities Will I Be Able To Engage In
Most patients require an assistive device for approximately 3 weeks after knee replacement surgery although this varies significantly from patient to patient.
You will also be able to do low-impact exercise such as riding a stationary bike, walking, and swimming after 68 weeks. Your physical therapist can advise you on introducing new activities during this time.
You should avoid running, jumping, as well as other high-impact activities.
Discuss with your orthopedic surgeon any questions concerning your activities.
Different Types Of Surgery
There are 5 main types of knee replacement surgery:
- Total knee replacement. This is the most common form. Your surgeon replaces the surfaces of the thigh bone and shin bone that connects to the knee.
- Partial knee replacement. If arthritis affects only one side of your knee, this surgery may be a possibility. However, itâs only right for you if you have strong knee ligaments and the rest of the cartilage in the knee is normal. Partial knee replacement can be performed through a smaller cut than is needed for total knee replacement.
- Patellofemoral replacement. This replaces only the under-surface of the kneecap and the groove the kneecap sits in. This can be very effective for people with chronic kneecap arthritis.
- Complex knee replacement. This procedure may be needed if you have very severe arthritis or if youâve already had two or three knee replacement surgeries.
- Cartilage restoration: Sometimes when the knee only has an isolated area of injury or wear this area can be replaced with a living cartilage graft or cells which grow into cartilage.
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Possible Benefits Of Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Regardless of whether a traditional total knee replacement or a minimally-invasive partial knee replacement is performed the goals and possible benefits are the same: relief of pain and restoration of function.
The large majority of total knee replacement patients experience substantial or complete relief of pain once they have recovered from the procedure. The large majority walk without a limp and most dont require a cane, even if they used one before the surgery. It is quite likely that you know someone with a knee replacement who walks so well that you dont know he even had surgery!
Frequently the stiffness from arthritis is also relieved by the surgery. Very often the distance one can walk will improve as well because of diminished pain and stiffness. The enjoyment of reasonable recreational activities such as golf, dancing, traveling, and swimming almost always improves following total knee replacement.
Thigh Shaking/picking For Scar Tissue Management
Although it sounds almost overly-simple, knee or thigh shaking, which is also called soft tissue mobilization, allows the body to break up the unnecessary scar tissue. This will help to loosen things up at a microlevel preparing your knee for the next strategy for encouraging healthy tissue formation.
The key here is vigor. Prop your leg up either on your bed or on another chair, keeping your spine neutral. Take either one or two hands to vigorously shake/pick up your thigh to create results at the microlevel.
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When Can I Drive
If you had surgery on your right or left knee and drive an automatic transmission, you should not drive for at least 4-6 weeks. After 4-6 weeks you may return to driving as soon as you feel comfortable, are not taking narcotic pain medications, and can safely and quickly move the leg from the accelerator to the brake petal. For a stick shift, or standard transmission, it will be at least 4-6 weeks regardless of which leg you had surgery. Again, you should not drive if you are taking narcotics.
Patients Go Through Stages Before Accepting Knee Replacement Surgery
Patients’ pre-op and post-op experiences with knee replacement surgery were analyzed in a study from Kent State University. The researchers identified four stages that patients went through on their way to accepting that they needed knee replacement surgery. The four stages are:
- putting up and putting off
- waiting and worrying
- letting go and letting in
- hurting and hoping
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Nerve And Other Tissue Damage
There’s a small risk that the ligaments, arteries or nerves will be damaged during surgery.
- Fewer than 1 in 100 patients have nerve damage and this usually improves gradually in time.
- About 1 in 100 have some ligament damage this is either repaired during the operation or protected by a brace while it heals.
- About 1 in 1,000 suffer damage to arteries that usually needs further surgery to repair.
- In about 1 in 5,000 cases blood flow in the muscles around the new joint is reduced . This usually also needs surgery to correct the problem.
Who Is A Candidate For A Knee Replacement
Elite knee replacement specialists typically explore non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy, before recommending a knee replacement.
However, knee replacement surgery may be right for you if conservative treatments dont provide adequate relief from your pain and symptoms.
Arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, is the most common reason people get knee replacement surgery. Rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis may also require knee replacement surgery.
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No 7 A Fresh Pair Of Shoes
If youre like me, maybe you have a pair of shoes that you love. Maybe its the look, or maybe their comfortable so you keep them clean and looking like new.
Most people dont realize it but shoes wear down over time. We tend to get comfortable with our shoes plus they can be a considerable investment .
During your rehabilitation, you should be walking and doing physical therapy. Dont take my word for it. According to Livestrong, running shoes should be replaced every 300-500 miles. Of course you wont be running but even if you walk, youll reach 300 miles in no time at all.
For your TKR recovery choose a pair of shoes that are for exercise these can be worn around the house as well. We like a good pair of Nike Air Max because of the extra air cushion in the heel.
Final Update: Four Years Later:
I feel as good as new and though I cannot bend as far as I used to, such as squatting down, I can do anything else I want, including climb ladders to trim trees, and other such activities.
All in all, I cannot complain, and I am very happy with the outcome.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authors knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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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.
How Long Will I Be On Pain Medication
Total joint replacement is a big surgery. It is not unusual to require some form of pain medication for approximately 6-8 weeks. Initially, the medication will be a strong oral narcotic such as oxycodone or hydrocodone. Most people begin to wean off their strong pain medication 3-4 weeks after surgery, requiring it mostly around times of therapy. Moderate strength medication, like Celebrex, Meloxicam or Ibuprofen and/or Tylenol may be needed for an additional 3-4 weeks.
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Understanding Why Some Joint Replacements Fail
We’re also supporting research to improve the outcome of knee replacement surgeries, such as a project aimed at increasing the understanding of why joint replacements sometimes fail by investigating whether there are genetic risk factors that influence surgery outcome. This research has the potential to improve patient experience and increase the life of the joint replacement.
When To See A Rheumatologist
Visit a rheumatologist if you have knee pain and:
- If it started out of nowhere .
- You have other symptoms associated with the pain. Like a fever, skin changes, digestive issues, or fatigue.
- Flare-ups or it gets better or worse with no clear reason.
- Youre taking medication for other underlying diseases. Like cardiovascular problems, for example.
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Who Is A Good Candidate For Joint Replacement Of The Knee
Total knee replacement is usually an elective surgery. Your surgeon will assess your pain and movement levels. If your knee hurts when you are using it for simple tasks, such as climbing the stairs, as well as when you are not using it, such as when you are sitting or lying down, it is an indication that surgery is a good option for you. Knee arthroplasty is best for people who are over 40 years old and who have knee arthritis in more than one area of their knee.
Visiting a medical doctor is recommended to discuss knee replacement if your condition meets any of these criteria:
- The pain in your knee prevents you from participating in your favorite recreational activities
- You have attempted conservative methods with no success
- You have knee pain that keeps you awake at night
- You have knee pain that limits your ability to carry out necessary daily functions, such as climbing stairs or standing up