Are you concerned about the pain in your knees or having a total knee replacement? or are you searching for its recovery, precautions, its preoperative, the severity of pain, or anything related to it? So, believe me you are at the right place. This article is for you! You will get all solutions regarding total knee replacement. Let’s have a discussion on it. Stay connected with me!
Your doctor can choose from a variety of knee replacement procedures and surgical techniques by considering your age, weight, knee size and shape, and overall health.
When we move towards precautions lets know what is the procedure of total knee replacement.
What is total knee replacement?
A surgical procedure in which broken parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial parts is called knee replacement.
The surgery is done by separating the muscles and ligaments around the knee to expose the inside area of the knee joint. The edges of the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) are eliminated from the bottom of the kneecap (patella). The required artificial parts are then connected into place. The artificial knee parts are made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and polymers.
Total knee replacement may be done on people, over 50 to 55, or aged people, whose knees have been damaged by arthritis, trauma, or any diseases of the joint that results in severe limiting knee pain, stiffness, instability, and deformity of the knee.
Causes of total knee replacement
Knee replacement surgery is usually required when the knee joint is worn or broken so that your movement is lessened and you are in pain even while resting. The most frequent cause of severe knee pain and disability is arthritis. There is also some other conditions of knee replacement, which are:
A joint where two bones come collectively. The ends of these bones are coated with a protective tissue called cartilage. In this condition the cartilage breaks down causing the bones within the joint to rub together. This can cause pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. Osteoarthritis occurs most often in older people, although it can occur in adults of any age. Osteoarthritis is also remembered as degenerative joint disease, degenerative arthritis, and wear-and-tear arthritis. Millions of people in the world are suffering from Osteoarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that can cause joint pain and damage your overall body. The joint harm usually results on both sides of the body. Rheumatoid arthritis happens when your immune system incorrectly hits your own body’s tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis strikes the wall of your joints, provoking a sharp swelling that can eventually occur in bone erosion and joint deformation.
Post-traumatic arthritis is produced by the imperfections of knee ligaments that may harm the articular cartilage over time. The injury caused by any sports, accident, a fall, a military injury, or any other source of physical trauma. Such fractures can weaken the cartilage or the bone and causes knee pain and limit the knee functions.
Other causes of total knee replacement
Other causes of total knee replacement include:
- Unusual bones
- Knee injury
- Knee deformity
Symptoms and signs that tell the time of knee replacement
Knee replacement may be a choice when nonsurgical interferences, such as medication, physical therapy, other walking aid no longer help alleviate the pain. When your physical activities are continuously being affected by knee pain, and may become severe day by day so you may need total knee replacement. You might notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Your pain continues or repeats over time
- Your knee pains during and next to exercise
- Your knee stiffens up from sitting
- You feel pain in rainy weather
- The pain restricts you from sleeping
- You are unable to flex your knee
- Your knees are frozen or inflated
- You’re no sustained as mobile as you’d like to be
- Medication that aren’t producing full relief
- You have difficulty climbing stairs
- You feel a “grating” of your joint
How will I be diagnosed with total knee replacement?
To diagnose your stage and condition, your doctor may need to evaluate by some kinds of tests. He may also ask some questions about your physical activities and pain. You should describe your pain and its severity. Your doctor may conduct:
- A brief medical history
- Your physical examination
Your orthopedic surgeon will examine the results of your evaluation with you and discuss whether total knee replacement is the best option to relieve your pain and improve your function. In addition, your orthopedic surgeon will describe the possible risks and difficulties of total knee replacement, including those associated with the surgery and those that can happen over the period after your surgery.
Which type of question my doctor may be asked while suggesting total knee replacement surgery?
When you are visiting your doctor for the knee pain, he will ask some questions and recommend you the above-mentioned tests. Let’s learn what your doctor may ask before the surgery:
- Where is the pain?
- What type of pain?
- Is the pain affecting your daily life activities?
- Is the pain relieved when you lie or sit?
- Is the pain increases when you sit or walk?
- Do you exercise daily?
- Do you develop fever while having pain? And many more
What questions do patients need to ask the doctor about his/her surgery?
When the doctor recommends you a total knee replacement this is your right to ask any questions regarding your surgery. Here are some general questions:
- What are the procedure steps?
- How long the surgery takes?
- What is the size of the incision?
- What activities I have to avoid?
- When will I recover?
- Are there any harmful effects of this replacement surgery?
- How much pain I have to bear?
- How will you know that you are operating on the correct knee?
- What type of anesthesia you will use?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- How long recovery takes?
- How do you expect my new knee will function in 6 to 7 months? And many more
What can I expect?
Before the surgery
The surgical team has an anesthesiologist that selects whether to use general anesthesia which makes you totally unconscious or spinal anesthesia which you are unable to feel pain from the waist down but you are awake. The team will give you IV antibiotics before, during, and after the surgery to prevent post-surgical infection. You might also be provided with a nerve block around your knee to numb or senseless it. The numbness fades off slowly after the procedure.
During the procedure
Knee replacement takes hours to complete. 6 to 10-inch incision is given to the patient’s bent knee. Your surgeon moves aside your kneecap and cuts away the damaged joint surfaces from the knee. After doing this your surgeon attaches the artificial joint or metal pieces and satisfies by moving your knee and observing whether it is functioning normally or not.
After the procedure
You’ll be taken to a recovery room for one to two hours. You’ll then be moved to your hospital room, where you’ll likely stay for many days. Take medications prescribed by your doctor that help to control pain.
During the hospital stay, you’ll be encouraged to move your foot and ankle under the professional guidance, which increases blood flow to your leg muscles and helps prevent swelling and blood clots. You’ll likely receive blood thinners and wear support or compression boots to further protect your leg against swelling and clotting.
Total knee replacement precautions
After you have been through total knee replacement surgery it is good to take some total knee replacement precautions for some months because you may not eventually continue your physical activities soon after surgery. People who don’t take the precautions after total knee replacement surgery may develop some complications in their leg. So, you can only protect your knee by taking total knee replacement precautions.
Here are some tips and total knee replacement precautions that help you continue your daily life activities easily:
Use walker or cane
Walker provides you with support when you are trying to walk after 4 to 8 weeks of surgery and prevents you from falling. It also maintains the space between the rest of the world when you are doing the walk. Most knee replacement patients may reduce the use of walkers after sometimes, because they are recovering and can walk without any support. Picking the best walker after knee replacement is an important part of recovery.
Treat the pain
After the surgery, you might have developed some pain during or after physiotherapy. Some people can’t follow the total knee replacement precautions and not take medication on time due to their side effects and sometimes they are not able to perform their physiotherapy due to their pain which becomes severe and chronic day by day.
Knee replacement patients are advised to talk to their doctors and notify them about their lack of not taking proper total knee replacement precautions at home which develop post-surgical pain as well as concerns regarding medications. Unitedly they can come up with a pain management plan that works best for the patients and making adjustments as needed.
Treat the swelling
Exercises are important for the early recovery after surgery. Maybe they develop some kind of swelling after walking and physiotherapy so what is good to do at home for swelling? The main thing which is important for continuing your daily life is to take the total knee replacement precautions, and for treating swelling apply cold packs and raising the affected leg for 20 to 30 minutes, or as directed by the health care provider. Your doctor may recommend Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are used for pain control, and also help in reducing inflammation.
Minimize your activities
When you are on the recovering phase of knee replacement surgery you have to minimize your plans and daily activities which can save you from getting any serious problems. Bathing, changing clothes, going washroom, driving may worsen your condition. Total knee replacement precautions can save your life.
When you are sleeping you don’t even know the posture because you are not conscious, this can develop more severity on your knee and consequences may worsen. If you fall asleep on your stomach the top of your knee might rub on the bed-sheet and provoke your wound. This makes your knee more painful. Use pillows when you are going to sleep to elevate the leg.
Exercises after total knee replacement surgery
Exercises or rehabilitation plays an important role in the recovery phase. Initially, you may feel uncomfortable while doing exercises, but you never know, it might speed up your recovery and you will speedily go towards the daily life activities. These exercises will help increase circulation to your legs and feet, which is important for preventing blood clots. Do these exercises under the supervision of health care professionals or physiotherapists. It helps in your knee strengthening and relieves pain. These exercises are:
1. Quadriceps sets
A quadriceps muscle strain is a severe tearing injury. This injury is habitually due to an acute stretch of the muscle, usually at the same time as a vigorous compression or constant functional overloading. The quadriceps, which consists of four parts, can be burdened by recurred eccentric muscle contractions of the knee function.
- Straight your knee.
- Try to keep knee for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Do it for 10 times after 2 minute period.
- Rest for 1 minute.
Benefits of quadriceps
It gives balance to the joint which is inherently unbalanced and dependent on ligaments and muscles to shield them from injury.
2. Straight leg raises
It is an excellent approach to enhance the strength of your quadriceps and muscles of your hips. It will likely involve doing straight leg raises on your back, your side, and your abdomen to improve the aim of those muscles that strengthen your knee and help with normal walking.
- Tighten your thigh muscles
- Lie on bed
- Straight your leg
- Lift your leg several inches
- Hold it for 5 to 10 seconds
- Do this for 10 times with 1 to 2 min break
Leg raise exercise benefits include losing belly fat fast and even strengthening muscles, improves flexibility, and enhances your body stability.
3. Ankle pumps
Ankle pump exercises can be an excellent method to hold your leg muscles fresh and keep your blood circulating. Ankle pumps and ankle circles are simple. They are not disturbing like a lot of the flexion exercises but they are just as beneficial.
- Move your foot up.
- Move your foot down by contracting your calf and shin muscles.
- Perform this exercise for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Continue this exercise until you are fully recovered.
Action improves blood flow. You need to have the blood moving and ankle pumps and ankle circles act exactly this way. The more the blood is flowing, the shorter chance you have of forming a blood clot.
Knee straightening exercise
Your knee has a tendency to become inflamed and thickened after replacement. Knee exercises are critical to prevent stiffness and improve your knee motion. Start exercising as soon as possible.
- Place a short folded cloth over your foot base so that your heel is not touching the bed.
- Stretch your thigh.
- Try to completely straighten your knee.
- Feel the back of your knee to the bed.
- Stay entirely straightened for 5 to 10 seconds.
Knee extension exercises are done to strengthen thigh muscles to enhance physical execution, decrease knee pain risk, and rehabilitate knee injuries. In different strengthening exercises, the body exerts energy within several different muscle collections. You should see improvement in your knee motion each day. If 2–3 days have been spent with no improvement or if a specific exercise is inducing risen pain, you are apparently not performing the exercises rightly.
The Clamshell can help a broad type of people and is used by Physical Therapists as a primary step in establishing the hips and core. This exercise can be applied therapeutically to eliminate back, hip, or knee pain. It can be done as a preventative means to improve strength and prevent painful problems.
- Lie on your side with the injured knee pointed toward the ceiling.
- Keeping your heels or base of your feet collectively.
- Open and close your legs like a clamshell.
- Do it 20 times.
The clamshell exercise can definitely help to increase the gluteus medius, which sets on the outside edge of the buttocks and is responsible for maintaining your pelvis. Clamshell exercises can serve to coordinate the muscular exercise within your inner and outer thighs and your pelvic floor. Building balance in the leg and hip muscles treats to limit injury.
Can I do squats after total knee replacement?
Squatting is the most common exercise nowadays for spending a healthy daily life. You may squat while washing, working out, working in the fields, and while offering prayers. Health-conscious people are doing squats for their better health and losing thigh fat.
Squatting helps extend your knees and holding the most extensive joint in your body, the knees need to be strong enough to support your body mass. Although, it has been stated that squatting is dangerous for the knees, this has proven to be wrong. If you are squatting correctly, it has a variety of benefits. It reduces the risk of knee arthritis. squatting helps correct your posture while strengthening your muscles.
When we come to squatting after knee replacement surgery there are some issues that may arise. After knee replacement surgery, you do not over-strain your knees. You can bend your knees about 90 to 125 degrees, thus other daily life activities are possible.
After having knee replacement surgery done, for squatting this is not possible for these implant models. You will need to get a high flexion knee joint embedded as prefer by the surgeon because not all patients are suitable candidates for implanting a high flexion prosthetic joint. There are certain criteria for the selection of patients for this procedure.
Dangers of delaying total knee replacement surgery
When the doctor says you need a knee replacement so it’s time to start taking the surgery seriously. Delaying it off can end up making things worse. It can restrict your activity and can cause additional health problems. Some dangers are:
- It affects your muscles and ligaments
- Can change your posture
- Exerts more pressure on your hips
- Injury risk of any part of the body
- You may be inactive
- Effects your quality of life
- Effects your mood
- Loss of stability
- Recovery is related to age the older you get the long recovery period is required
A student of Surgical Technology from Dow University of Health Sciences. She brings her expertise on surgical procedures, knowledge on Human Anatomy and Modern Day Surgeries to help students understand and learn easier ways and help patients understand hospital procedures before their surgeries.