Most people will likely undergo Knee Joint replacement surgery at some point in their life. "This procedure is more commonly carried out than you know. You could be suffering from osteoarthritis or an individual who has led an excessively active lifestyle resulting in injuries or wear and tear of the knee joint, resulting in the requirement of knee replacement surgery", says Dr DIlip Mehta.
Have you been recommended knee joint replacement treatment and are looking for answers as to what to expect weeks after the knee joint replacement surgery? Dr. Dilip Mehta clarifies some common queries. Read on to know more.
Is knee joint replacement surgery a major operation?
Yes, knee replacement surgery is a major surgery since it involves altering the damaged parts of the femur, the knee joint, and the tibia at the joint and replacing them with prosthetics. Since this surgery involves replacing the natural bones with prosthetics, the quality of the prosthetics and the body’s ability to adapt to the foreign body makes it a major procedure. In addition, knee stability is managed only by the Posterior cruciate ligaments (PCL), and the surgery takes over 2 hours.
How long does it take to recover from knee joint replacement surgery?
Recovery after the knee joint replacement surgery depends on multiple factors, such as your general health and fitness prior to the surgery, your age, and how well the wound heals.
You should be able to get back to your normal routine activities within 12 weeks after the knee joint replacement surgery if you follow the medications and physiotherapy as guided by your doctor and a physiotherapist. You will depend on walking aids and people for the first few weeks.
Complete recovery may take up to a year.
What is the success rate of knee replacement surgery?
There is no concrete data to support the claim, and different website state different versions. But, after going through the research on numbers worldwide, it would be safe to say that 90% of the total knee replacement surgeries are successful and last up to 20 years. The 10% which is likely to fail is due to dislodged prosthesis, instability of the knee joint peripheral bone fractures, and infections.
Is knee joint replacement surgery painful?
“Mild to moderate pain after a knee replacement surgery is to be expected during the recovery period," says Dr. Dilip Mehta. The pain should subside between 3 weeks to 6 weeks after the surgery; however, if the pain is persistent, visit your orthopedic surgeon at the earliest.
You should keep a check on signs of infection in the wound, like redness, warmth, inflammation, and oozing. The pain could be a result of the infection.
Also, there are times that after the knee joint replacement surgery, the patients experience pain in the hip joint. This is due to a number of reasons, such as:
Nerve damage: The nerves in the hips and the knees originate from the same place, and damage during surgery could result in hip pain.
Actual pain is in the hips, which gets isolated after the knee replacement surgery, and the patient realizes that it was actually a hip replacement procedure that is required.
Pain in the hips which is transferred as a result of the knee replacement surgery. The body takes time to get accustomed to the new way of walking since the ACL is missing. This puts stress on the hips.