Knee replacement surgery (also called knee arthroplasty) is a surgical procedure to restore a damaged knee joint. In this surgery, the damaged bone and cartilage present in the knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint. Knee replacement helps an individual in restoring function by relieving the pain that could not be ceased by medication or other treatments.
The Procedure involves cutting away the damaged cartilage and bones from thighbone, shinbone and kneecap and using metal and plastic parts to cap the bone ends. Knee replacement is done to patients who have incurable arthritis or a severe knee injury.
Types of Arthritis that can damage the knee joint, sometimes making knee replacement surgery necessary, include:
Knee is the largest joint in the human body. It is necessary for the knee to work properly in order to perform everyday activities. It is basically made of two long bones which are joined together by muscles, ligaments and tendons. It includes- femur- lower end of the thigh bone, tibia- upper end of the shin bone and patella- the kneecap. All of these bones have a covering of cartilage which absorbs shock, protects the knee and enables them to move easily within the joint. The remaining knee surface is covered with a thin lining called synovial membrane which releases a fluid for lubricating the cartilage thus resulting in nearly zero friction in a healthy knee.
In a healthy knee, all of these components are present in the appropriate amount and work in harmony to carry out daily activities. However, arthritis or any other injury can disrupt this harmony which leads to pain, weakness and improper knee function.
You should consider getting a knee replacement surgery done if you have the following symptoms-
A knee replacement surgery usually takes 1 to 2 hours. In partial knee replacement, the surgeon only replaces the damaged parts of the knee with artificial parts made of plastic and metal.
Total knee replacement is a much more elaborate and a major surgery, in which the entire knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint.
After the surgery is done, you will be shifted to a different room for recovery during which, the anesthesia will gradually wear off and you will be given some pain medicine.
Most patients are kept under observation for one or two days in the hospital. During this time, a physiotherapist will tell you some exercises to strengthen your muscles, increase the blood flow and reduce the swelling for a speedy recovery.
A proper recovery is only possible if you follow all the instructions given by your doctor. They include-
There are certain things which you cannot continue doing after getting a knee replacement surgery. They include-
Even though a knee replacement surgery is hardly unsuccessful, it still carries some risks, like-
It is imperative to call the doctor right away if you notice any of the following signs-
In case your knee gets infected, the artificial knee will be removed and you will be given antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Once the infection is gone, a second surgery will be done to put a new knee.
Q-1. How much does a knee replacement surgery cost?
Ans. Generally used cobalt chromium in knee replacement surgery will now cost Rs 54,720 as against an earlier MRP of Rs 1,58,324. Similarly, the cost of special metals like titanium and oxidised zirconium have been slashed by almost 70%, to Rs 76,600 from Rs 2.49 lakh.
Q-2. What is the duration of a knee replacement surgery?
Ans. A knee replacement surgery generally takes about one to two hours. After the surgery, the patient is usually kept in the hospital for observation for one or two days.
Q-3. How long does it take to recover from a knee replacement surgery?
Ans. Recovery speed varies from person to person. Generally, it can take upto 3 months to return to your basic activities. And full recovery might take 6 months to one year.
Q-4. What is the best age for knee replacement surgery?
Ans. The need for knee replacement surgery depends upon the condition of the patient (pain). Usually, people who are aged between 50-80 years undergo total knee replacement surgery.
Q-5. Is knee replacement surgery a major surgery?
Ans. Yes, knee replacement is a major surgery. It is performed only when other treatments like- medication and physiotherapy have failed in reducing the pain and improving knee movement.
Q-6. What activities to avoid after getting knee replacement surgery?
Ans. There are certain things that you should avoid after getting a knee replacement. Like-