Frequently Asked Questions about knee Replacement surgery
1. What is the anatomy of knee joint ?
Knee joint consists femur (thigh bone ) and tibia (shin bone )and patella , held together by muscles , tendons and ligaments , bone ends are covered with a layer of cartilage that protects the knee .
2. When is Knee replacement surgery usually recommended ?
When there is inflammation and swelling of knee causing marked disruption of daily activities not helped by conservative methods of treatment as also there is Instability of knee ,Bone on bone arthritis as seen on X-ray .Deformities like bow legs .
3. What is the recommended age for knee replacement ?
There is no age restriction for knee replacement ,Surgeons evaluate each patient individually , generally performed between the age of 50-80 years .
4. What are the Conservative methods to avoid knee replacement surgery ?
a) Anti inflammatory medications and pain killers
b) Weight loss- to reduce stress on weight bearing joints like knee
c) Physiotherapy- usually helps
d) Steroid injections into the knee are commonly used for arthritis treatment and are effective in relieving pain .
e) Injections of hyaluronic acid
5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of simultaneous bilateral knee replacement?
i. Advantages-There is one hospitalization , one surgery , anaesthesia given once and one recovery period ,ability to rehabilitate both knee at the same time
ii. Disadvantage – usually requires longer one time hospitalization and more intense rehabilitation
6. What are the positives and negatives impact of Staged bilateral knee replacement ?
In this surgery planned to be performed few months apart, usually 3-6 months in between recovery period .
i. Positive - lower stress on heart and lungs , elderly and obese patients are usually treated with staged bilateral knee replacement surgery
ii. Negatives - requires two hospitalization and two surgeries .
7. How long does knee replacement surgery take ?
Usually knee replacement surgery takes about 1.5- 2 hrs for each knee
8. What are the implants made of ?
The implants are metal and of plastic joined by bone cement or artificial component that grows and attaches to the bone .
9. What are the signs and symptoms immediately after surgery ?
a) The knee is covered with bandage , a drain to remove fluid , there also may be a catheter, as well as compression bandage to improve circulation
b) IV antiobiotics and painkillers will be administered
10. What is the usual recovery period after surgery ?
i. Post surgery rehabilitation is very important , willingness to perform physiotherapy exercises and make lifestyle changes is essential factor in outcome of surgery .
ii. You will be walking the day after surgery with help of walker
iii. A physiotherapist will help you do specific exercises for your knee joint , you should be able to resume normal daily activities with few days
iv. Low impact exercise within 6-12 weeks
v. It may take around 6 months to feel better and about a year to fully regain strength .
11. How long will my replaced knee joint last ?
Usually till 15-20 years after surgery .
12. What are the limitation of knee replacement surgery ?
- If you undergo a knee replacement surgery and its actually a problem of nerve pain , hip pain or circulation, knee replacement will not help and in such cases pain will persist.
- There is a possibility that you will wear out the joint faster if you are overweight , run or play high impact sports .
13.What is the success rate of knee replacement surgery ?
More than 90 percent of people experience a reduction in their knee pain and improvement in ability to perform daily tasks .
14.What is the hospitalization period for knee replacement surgery ?
Hospitalization time period varies to individual cases , mostly between 2-4 days .