Total knee replacement
Long considered as the “gold standard” surgery for knee arthritis, total knee replacement is still by far the most commonly performed joint replacement process. It is appropriate for middle-aged and older people who have arthritis in more than one compartment of the knee and who do not expect to return to high-impact athletics or heavy labor work. Results of this process are usually outstanding with 95% of total knee replacements continuing to function well for more than 10 years after operation.
Effectiveness of total knee replacement
Current research suggests that when total knee replacements are performed well in right selected patients, success is achieved in large majority of patients and the implant serves the patient well for several years. Many researches show that 90-95 percent of total knee replacements are still functioning very well even after 10 years of surgery. Most patients walk without the help of a cane, most of them can climb stairs, sit and get up easily from chairs, and most of them resume their desired level of recreational activity.
In many cases, the total knee replacement requires re-operation sometime in the future; it can always be revised (re-done) successfully. However, results of revised knee replacement are usually not as good as first-time knee replacements. There is good evidence that the experience of the knee surgeon correlates with outcome in total knee replacement surgery. It is best to have the initial surgery done by an experienced surgeon. Surgeons with several years of experience have been shown to have fewer complications and better results. It is therefore significant that the surgeon performing the technique just not be a good orthopedic surgeon, but a specialist in knee replacement surgery.
Precaution to be taken after knee replacement surgery
After operation, you’re wheeled to a recovery room for at least one to two hours. You’re then moved to your hospital room, where you usually stay for a couple of days. You might feel little pain, but medications prescribed by your surgeon should help to control it. During the hospital stay, you’re encouraged to move your ankle and foot, which will increase the blood flow to your leg muscles and will help to prevent swelling and blood clots. You might need blood thinners, support hose or even compression boots to further protect against swelling and clotting.
The day after operation, a physical therapist shows you how to exercise with your new knee. During the first few weeks after operation, a good recovery is more likely to take place if you follow all the orthopedic surgeon’s instructions which are concerned with wound care, diet and exercise. Your physical activity program will comprise of:
- A graduated walking program: first indoors, then outdoors, will help to increase your mobility
- You need to slowly resume to other household activities, which include: walking up and down stairs
- Knee-strengthening exercises which are recommended by the hospital physical therapist, should be performed several times a day