When Is Knee Replacement Surgery Recommended?
If knee pain and other rheumatoid arthritis are restricting you from doing everything you want, whether that’s jogging in the park or playing a game of badminton, you may be thinking of knee replacement. A lot of people undergo knee replacement these days. An estimated 720,000 people undergo one annually, and almost 5% of women over 50 are sporting prosthetic knees. A knee replacement is an ideal option for people who want to increase their mobility. But what’s the ideal time to get one?
Most knee doctors say that there’s no correct time to undergo knee replacement surgery, it depends on an individual’s ability to endure pain and discomfort before having surgery. Knee doctors advise people with knee pain to balance the benefits and risks of knee replacement surgery against their endurance level of pain and discomfort.
Preparation before undergoing knee replacement surgery
Knee specialists recommend people get in better shape before the knee operation. You may be asked to undergo physical therapy, and lose a few kgs if you are overweight. Your knee doctor will guide you about low impact exercises-mostly for your arms and upper body. A strong upper body and arms will make it more comfortable and easier for you to get around on crutches after knee surgery.
If you are a chain smoker or someone who consumes tobacco products, you have to quit or cut down. Smoking makes your healing slow. It can even trigger your chances of infection and other complications during and after knee surgery.
You will also be asked to stop certain medications that can cause bleeding during the surgery. Inform your knee doctor if you are under certain medication if you are planning to have knee surgery.
Find the best knee doctor
If the internet is quenching your thirst for knowledge, it is also giving you quacks selling snake oil. You must do deep research on finding the best knee doctors and knee surgeons. To get started, start asking your friends and family for their recommendations and referrals. Once you know the names of the knee doctors referred by your close ones, take the time out to deep dive into the doctors’ credentials and experience on various healthcare forums and platforms. It is one of the effective ways to screen your desired knee doctor in Bangalore before booking an appointment for a knee replacement consultation
Screen the symptoms and inform your knee doctor
You won’t always need a knee replacement if you have knee pain or severe arthritis. But it may be worth considering if your knee is completely disabled by arthritis and pain. Screen the symptoms and get into an open discussion about the severity of pain and its impact on your daily life. Your knee specialist will decide whether you should undergo knee surgery or not.
Signs and symptoms that accompany knee pain include:
difficulty in walking due to instability of the knee,
difficulty walking up or down
locking of the knee
redness and swelling,
inability to extend the knee, and
shifting weight to the opposite knee and foot.
After screening these symptoms your knee doctor will run a proper diagnosis to decide on the course of treatment. In case, you have failed to respond to other ways of knee pain treatment- including oral medications and therapies, knee surgery may be an ideal option for you. Depending upon your age and health condition, your knee doctor decides which knee surgery will be suitable for you.
Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries
Bilateral knee Replacement or Double knee replacement surgery:
There are two types of Bilateral knee replacement surgery-a) Simultaneous bilateral knee replacement b) Staged bilateral knee replacement.
Simultaneous bilateral knee replacement: When both of your knees get a replacement at the same time, the surgery is called a simultaneous bilateral knee replacement
Staged bilateral knee replacement: When each knee is replaced at a different time, it’s called a staged bilateral knee replacement
Single knee replacement is called unilateral knee replacement.
Revision knee replacement-
This procedure is performed if you have severe arthritis or if you’ve already had more than one knee replacement surgery.
Partial knee replacement surgery-
This surgery is performed when arthritis affects only one side of the knee. Partial knee replacement can be performed through a smaller incision than is needed for total knee replacement.
Patellofemoral joint replacement surgery:
Patellofemoral replacement is a type of partial knee replacement during which only a part of the knee is resurfaced.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery:
It is performed by making a small incision and inserting a tiny camera, called an arthroscope into the knee. The knee replacement surgeon will view the inside of the joint on a screen/monitor. This surgical procedure is also called knee keyhole surgery.
Knee ligament tear surgery:
Knee ligament surgery is a treatment to repair a complete tear of a knee ligament that occurs due to instability in the knee.
In this surgery, your knee surgeon will replace only the under-surface of the kneecap.
Who is not suitable for knee replacement surgery?
You are not a suitable candidate for knee replacement surgery if-
Your knee symptoms are not related to any joint disease or injury
Your weight is too heavy to support the artificial knee
You have fragile skin over your knee
You have a severe illness or infection
You have a terminal disease like cancer
You have a blood-related disorder