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Knee Replacement Surgery: What You Need to Know?

Knee replacement surgery is a surgical procedure to replace the damaged or worn-out knee joint with a prosthetic joint. It is a common surgery done for people with severe knee osteoarthritis, which is a condition that causes the cartilage in the knee joint to break down.

Types

  • Total knee replacement (replacing the entire knee joint)
  • Partial knee replacement (replacing only the damaged part of the knee joint)

Who is a Candidate for Knee Replacement Surgery?

You may be a candidate for knee replacement surgery if you have:

  • Severe pain and stiffness in your knee joint that makes it difficult to walk, climb stairs, or get out of bed
  • Inflammation and swelling in your knee joint that does not improve with other treatments
  • Deformity of your knee joint
  • Limited range of motion
  • Difficulty sleeping due to knee pain
  • Decreased quality of life due to knee pain

What to Expect Before Knee Replacement Surgery?

Your doctor will discuss your medical history and perform a physical examination.

You may also need imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRI scans, to assess the damage to your knee joint.

Your doctor will also give you instructions on how to prepare for surgery. This may include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Managing other medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Stopping certain medications that could increase your risk of bleeding

What to Expect During Knee Replacement Surgery?

Under general anesthesia your surgeon will make an incision in your knee joint and remove the damaged cartilage and bone. Your surgeon will then insert the prosthetic joint into your knee joint.

Recovery Care

The recovery time from knee replacement surgery varies from person to person. Most people are able to walk without assistance within six to eight weeks of surgery. However, it may take several months for your knee to fully heal.

During your recovery, you will need to follow your doctor's instructions carefully. This may include:

  • Taking pain medication as prescribed
  • Applying ice to your knee to reduce swelling
  • Elevating your leg when you are sitting or lying down
  • Performing exercises to strengthen your knee and improve your range of motion
  • Avoiding activities that put stress on your knee joint, such as running and jumping

Knee replacement surgery can be a life-changing procedure for people with severe knee osteoarthritis. It can help to relieve pain and improve function, so that you can enjoy your life more fully.