Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure which involves replacing a diseased knee joint with artificial material. The knee is a “hinge” joint that is placed at the point where the thigh meets the shin bone. During a total knee replacement surgery, the end of the thigh bone is removed and replaced with a metal part. Also, the end of the lower leg bone is removed and replaced with a plastic part with a metallic stem. The artificial parts are known as prosthesis and it will help the knee joint to move in the same way as a natural joint.
You may be suggested either a total or a partial knee replacement depending upon the extent of damage in your knee. Partial knee replacements (PKR) involves less bone being removed. However total knee replacement is more commonly performed.
Reasons for opting for total knee replacement surgery:
Your physician may recommend the surgery for a number of reasons like:
The most common condition that leads to a total knee replacement is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of joint cartilage resulting in limitation of movement and constant pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, hemophilia, gout, and any kind of injury to the knee are some other conditions that cause knee damage that may require knee surgery.
The four basic steps to a knee replacement procedure are:
Complications with knee replacement are rare but can include:
After total knee replacement surgery
Primary benefits of total knee replacement surgery are reduced or no pain and being able to move around normally. Daily activities and exercises can be resumed shortly after the surgery.
Recovery post surgery will differ person to person. Your total knee replacement surgeon will recommend physiotherapy for few weeks post-surgery, which is an essential part of rehabilitation. A physiotherapist will suggest exercises to help strengthen your knee.
After recovery, many people resume their daily activities normally.
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