Why is total knee replacement performed?
The replacement of an affected knee with an artificial knee, a surgery called arthroplasty, is an intervention whose main indication is osteoarthritis or knee wear, which is a condition that causes chronic pain and can be disabling. Rheumatoid arthritis and post-traumatic arthritis are usually the other causes, in order of frequency.
This prosthesis is usually normal-functioning, which works normally, around 15 years on average, although today’s prostheses can last longer. Some last up to 20 years if their placement was adequate at first, preserving optimal joint lines and axes, and if the joint is not subjected to excessive overload during the life of the prosthesis, such as being overweight, intense physical exercise., etc.
The intervention of knee replacement must be performed by expert orthopedic surgeons. But this is not the only factor that will determine the success of knee replacement. Obviously, a convalescent time and a very careful, specific and constant rehabilitation treatment are required.
The doctor who has operated on you, as well as your medical team, will give you precise instructions on the steps to follow after the intervention. Including care of the surgical wound, feeding, supported or unloaded supports, rehabilitation exercises guided by a physiotherapist, etc.
Types of knee replacement
There are two types of knee replacement depending on the affected parts of the joint:
- Total knee replacement: The distal part of the femur and the proximal part of the tibia are replaced.
- Partial knee replacement: Only one of the bone structures in the joint is replaced.
After the intervention, your surgeon will tell you if you can support and carry the operated leg. You will have to use a walker or crutches at first (you can see more about rehabilitation in our article: “Rehabilitation of knee replacement surgery.” Afterwards, you will have a consultation with a rehabilitation doctor who will indicate the steps to follow and a physical therapist will teach you exercises to get the maximum function of your knee.
Here we briefly indicate why the knee needs to be replaced with a prosthesis:
Why does your knee need to be replaced with a prosthesis?
The knee is made up of the distal part of the femur, the proximal part of the tibia, the patella, the menisci, the ligaments, the joint capsule and the tendons that insert on its periphery and give it movement. The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the human body. Despite this, it can be successfully replaced by an artificial prosthesis with incredible results, especially in severe cases in which the quality of life has suffered considerably.
Anatomically, all these elements form a perfect balance to achieve standing and standing gait (standing) on two limbs.
However, over time, the perfect and uniform sliding of the structures that make up the knee becomes more imperfect due to their wear. Until they produce pain, deformity and functional impotence.
This degeneration can affect one or more joint elements that make up the knee. Normally wear affects several.
In the early stages of knee osteoarthritis, it is advisable to lose weight, correct diet and moderate physical exercise. You can add some anti-inflammatory and soothing drug, but after a while this is not enough. The pain becomes continuous and chronic over time, a syndrome of immobility is established due to lack of functionality and pain, the joint becoming stiff and deteriorating more and more.
At this point, it is worth considering replacing the knee with a prosthesis and improving or recovering the patient’s quality of life.
Dr. Ketas Mahajan – Top Orthopaedic Doctor in Vadodara.