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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What To Expect From A Total Knee Replacement Surgery?

What is Total Knee Replacement?

Total Joint Knee replacement is a treatment involving the replacement of an artificial joint or prothesis of a complete injured or damaged knee. Knee replacement or arthroplasty of the knee is believed to relieve pain and restore function to seriously disordered knee joints. One of the most prevalent bone operations is knee replacement surgery. More than 90% of the persons who replaced their knees notice significant improvement in pain and mobility.

Deciding to Have Surgery?

knee injury, Credits: pixabay

There are a number of reasons for which you might get surgery done:

  1. Severe pain and stiffness makes it tough for you to walk, climb stairs, or get out of a chair.

  2. Nagging knee pain bothers you while resting, possibly keeping you from sleeping well.

  3. Your knee is often swollen.

  4. Your knee is bowed or has other defects.

  5. Physical therapy and medication haven’t been of any use.

Preparing for Surgery

Total knee replacement

knee radiograph, Credits: pixabay

Before you have surgery, your doctor will take your medical history and do a physical exam that includes X-rays and possibly blood tests. Your doctor will use those X-rays to figure to evaluate the damage inside your knee. The surgeon will also want to see how strong the muscle support around your knee is, and how well you can move the joint.

As with all surgeries, tell your doctor what medications you are on, including blood thinners, aspirin, or other drugs. They’ll also need to know if you have a history of infections, bleeding, or blood clots.

During Surgery

Total knee replacement

knee surgery in progress, Credits: pexels

Knee replacement surgery has become very advanced. If you are fit, it can be done as an outpatient procedure without a hospital stay. If done in the hospital, expect to stay in the hospital for at least 1 to 4 days. Just before surgery, an intravenous line (IV) might be inserted into a vein in your arm or hand to give you fluids and medicines. They also have to shave your skin where the doctor will make the cut.

You might get general anesthesia to put you in a deep sleep during the surgery. Your doctor may decide instead to give you a spinal/epidural anesthesia, which will numb you below the waist but keep you awake.

Surgery can take 1 to 2 hours. There are many ways in which the surgery can be done. They might make an 8- to 10-inch cut in the front of the knee and take out the damaged part of the joint and the surfaces of the thigh bone and shin next to the joint. Once that is done, artificial knee is implanted.

You might get what’s called “minimally invasive” surgery. In this case, the surgeon will make a shorter cut, around 4 to 6 inches which results in lesser damage to muscle and tendon. A person who is thin, young, and healthy is suitable for this technique.

After Surgery

total knee replacement

a patient post knee surgery, Credits: pexels

You can expect to be up on your feet within a day which can be hard to do on your own at first. So you might need the help of  parallel bars, crutches, a walker, or a cane for a while to get up.

Usually, you can expect a great improvement in flexibility and much less pain within a month. It is essential to exercise your knee often, to keep down swelling and to strengthen your muscles.

You might need help from a physical therapist, who will go through a series of exercises to strengthen your repaired knee. weight-bearing therapy, including standing and walking, a combination of physical and occupational therapy to help you adapt to your new knee.

When you are able to perform certain tasks, such as getting out of bed alone and using the bathroom, you will be able to go home.

knee replacement

exercise after knee replacement, Credits: pexel

Prepare for your recovery

Walking after knee surgery

clutch for walking support, Credits: pexel

For several weeks after the procedure, you might need to use crutches or a walker, so arrange for them before your surgery. If you live alone arrange for a temporary caretaker.

Make your home safer and easier to navigate during recovery by the following:

  1. Create a living space on one floor since climbing stairs can be difficult.

  2. Install safety bars or a secure handrail in your shower or bath.

  3. Secure stairway handrails.

  4. Get a stable chair with a firm seat cushion and back, and a footstool to elevate your leg.

  5. Arrange for a toilet-seat riser with arms if you have a low toilet.

  6. Get a stable bench or chair for your shower.

  7. Remove loose rugs and cords.

What are the complications associated with knee joint replacement?

Complication of knee surgery

a patient with heart attack, Credits: pixabay

  1. the artificial knee wearing out over time

  2. bleeding

  3. blood clots in the leg or lungs

  4. breathing problems caused by the anesthesia

  5. a heart attack

  6. knee stiffness

  7. nerve damage in the knee

  8. a stroke

What is the Total Knee Replacement Cost?

Total knee replacement surgery

knee replacement cost, Credits: pexels

Depending on where you have the procedure and your overall health at that time, cost may vary.

If you have other health issues that are not related to your knees, they may impact the procedure and cost as well.

When considering the cost of the surgery, consider additional costs that you might incur:

  1. your hospital stay

  2. physical therapy in the hospital

  3. therapy during your recovery at home

  4. follow-up appointments and care

  5. getting help at home

  6. transportation costs

You should also know how much your insurance will cover and how much you’ll need to pay from your side.

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