How Effective is Knee Replacement Surgery?
This surgery is normally recommended for elderly people who suffer from severe pain due to osteoarthritis. It is suggested for people if the pain and stiffness in their joints affects their mobility and daily activities. One has to understand both the benefits and risks of undergoing this surgery and discuss them with their doctor before deciding whether undergo it. In this surgery the affected part of the joint is replaced with an artificial joint. The artificial joint is supported by the surrounding ligaments and muscles allowing movement.
People who have undergone this surgery report considerable pain reduction and mobility improvement in the joints after the procedure. Generally, the effects are seen after a month of the surgery. People can start using the joint one day after the procedure. Initially one will be able to walk with the help of parallel bars and then with other devices. This can be continued until the knee is able to support the body's full weight. Assisted walking will have to be continue for about five to six weeks after which the level of assistance can be reduced. Physical therapy is found to be very effective in regaining the strength of the muscles after the surgery. It may take up to one to two months for the muscles to adjust.
For about two months after the surgery, one should be careful not to put unnecessary stress on the knees by avoid movements like twisting, kneeling, and squatting. After the procedure, one should avoid climbing stairs, recliners, and sudden falls and twisting of legs.
Although there seems to be quite a lot of improvement with this surgery, there are few concerns, including:
- Risk of blood clots
- Bleeding after surgery
- Numbness due to the pressure on the nerves during the procedure
- Risk of bone breaks
- Breaking of the attached pieces in the joint
- Urinary tract infection
- Chronic knee pain
Artificial joints that replace the worn out ones work for almost 20 years. There is also constant improvement in the procedure and technique used to replace the joints, which improves the longevity of the joint. Welcome to the painless world!