Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Surgery, also known as Total Knee Arthroplasty, is a surgical treatment used to restore function and alleviate discomfort in a deteriorated knee joint. It entails utilizing artificial prostheses such as high-grade plastic, polymers, or metal alloys to cap or replace the ends of the bones that make up the knee joint, as well as the kneecap.
ABOUT THE KNEE
The knee is a complex joint that consists of three bones:
- Thighbone (femur)
- Tibia (shinbone)
- Patella (kneecap)
Strong ligaments connect the thigh and calf muscles to the bones around the knee, allowing them to govern the function and mobility of the joint.
Cartilage and other soft tissue cushion and cover the bones, allowing them to move easily together. When you straighten or bend your knee, the femur’s end slides against the tibia’s end, allowing the patella to glide in front of the femur.
Bones come into closer contact, rub together and become rough or scraped when the cartilage that cushions the joint wears away or degrades entirely.
This produces osteoarthritis, which causes discomfort and hinders activities that require bending the knee, such as getting in and out of seats, climbing stairs, or walking. Because the joint is unstable, the knee may swell as well.
Total knee replacement surgery is performed to address the functional impairment and discomfort caused by osteoarthritis in the knee.
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PREPARING FOR TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY
The neighboring joints to the affected knee – ankle and hip – must be thoroughly assessed prior to complete knee replacement surgery. This is done to ensure that the patient recovers as quickly as possible following surgery.
If there is a badly injured joint close to the knee joint that is being replaced, the operation may be hampered and the surrounding joint may become more painful if it is atypical.
The impact of any medications a patient is taking on the success of the surgery will be assessed and he or she will be requested to refrain from taking blood any thinners or anti-inflammatory medications. In some cases, the dosage might simply be adjusted.
Routine blood and urine tests will be done to assess liver and kidney function. An EKG and a chest x-ray are also conducted to rule out serious lung and heart problems.
It is also critical that you arrange for assistance around the house for a week or two following the procedure before going in for surgery. Based on your medical condition, your doctor may recommend further post-surgery arrangements.
Total knee replacement surgery is performed under either general anesthesia, which renders the patient unconscious, or spinal anesthesia, which renders the patient awake but painless from the waist down.
To help prevent post-surgical infection, an intravenous antibiotic will be delivered before, during, and after the surgery.
The surgeon begins the procedure by creating an incision into the tissue to gain access to the kneecap (patella) and quadriceps muscles, which are located on the top of the upper leg.
The quadriceps are then moved to expose the femur and tibia. The damage to the bones is removed, the surface is smoothed, and the implant is placed. After the installation, the incisions are closed.
MINIMALLY INVASIVE KNEE SURGERY TECHNIQUES
Several techniques may be used by your surgeon during total knee replacement surgery. Our Orthopedic Surgeons at Valiant Clinic & Hospital are experienced in minimally-invasive surgical techniques, with no cutting of muscles or tendons. This makes for a quick, successful recovery.
Following total knee replacement surgery, you may be admitted to the hospital for a few days or discharged the same day provided appropriate home care is in place. To alleviate your discomfort, you will be given pain medication.
A physical therapist will show you how to use your new knee. The majority of activities can be resumed three to six weeks after surgery.
WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL RISKS OF TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT SURGERY?
Knee surgery, like any other surgical procedure, has its risks. The most serious risks include infection in the prosthetic joint and blood clot formation.
Wear and strain on the artificial joint requires immediate surgery revision.