Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery, with the formal name arthroplasty, is done on someone who needs to restore the function in diseased knee joints as well as to relieve pain. With knee replacement surgery, the surgeon will remove damaged cartilage and bone from the thighbone, kneecap, and shinbone and replace it with artificial joint that is made of high-grade plastic, metal alloy, and polymer. You will be able to choose from different designs depending on your health, activity level, age and weight. The majority of the knee replacements allow you to regain full function and natural ability to bend, roll, and glide. Most people who get knee replacement surgery need it after damage from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis damaged their knee joints.
Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery
All types of surgery have some level of risk, including knee replacement surgery. Before agreeing to surgery, you should be aware of the risks. These include infection, heart attack, stroke, blood clots in your lungs or leg veins, or nerve damage. While these are rare, you should still be aware of them. Signs of infection include shaking chills, fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, drainage from the surgical site, or swelling, pain, redness or tenderness that is getting worse instead of better. If you think you might have an infection, you should seek emergency medical attention; you may need antibiotics or surgery to remove the artificial parts.
Before the Surgery
You should be aware of some important things before getting your knee replacement surgery. Your surgeon will ask for your medical history, and perform a physical examination to find out what your knee’s range of motion and strength is, along with an x-ray to determine the damage. Before surgery, you will be given anesthesia, which may or may not be general anesthesia to put you to sleep completely, or just numb the area and keep you relaxed during the procedure. You may also be given other instructions such as avoiding medications and certain dietary supplements a week or so before the date of your surgery. You will also be asked not to eat anything after midnight the night before your knee replacement surgery.
Planning for Recovery
The recovery process, especially the first few days and weeks after your surgery, is the most difficult. It helps to prepare for it beforehand. This means practicing and learning how to use crutches or a walker as they will be your aide for getting around until your knee is stronger and able to support you while walking. You should also make your home safer for after surgery such as being sure you have clear walking baths to each room and adding additional safety and support.