HYDERABAD: Sometimes knee pain can be treated through rehabilitation, and on occasion, surgery may be required. Hence, it is important for the patients to get proper consultation as soon as the symptoms are evident.If the pain in the knee is severe, causing difficulty in walking or performing daily activities, then after thorough evaluation and trying all the possible means of non-operative treatment, the patients may have to consider undergoing knee replacement surgery.
We usually try and delay the procedure for as long as possible by using non-operative treatment. However, if the disease is at an advanced stage and is disturbing patient’s activities of daily living then knee replacement is a very successful operation for one to achieve relief from pain as well as return to daily activities.
A total knee replacement surgery is a procedure in which the parts of the bones that rub together are resurfaced with metal( usually cobalt chromium) and plastic(ultra high molecular weight) implants. This process is minimally invasive, with minimal blood loss and patients usually experience very less pain without using much of pain killers, which leads to quicker recovery. A specially crafted rehabilitation routine will be initiated to help regain strength, balance and movement in the knee. On an average, patients walk with a walker support the next day and with a cane in 1-2 weeks, art driving in about two months.
While the surgery can relieve you of pain and allow you to resume most of the normal activities, this does not include indulging in sports or any other activities that can put excessive strain on your knees.
After the surgery, the patients must strictly adhere to the suggested exercises as they play an important role during recovery. The longevity of the prosthesis usually depends on the activity levels of the patients, as well as weight and accuracy of the implant placement. Recent studies have found common implants to be functional in 96 percent of the patients even after a time of about 15-20 years although implants which may last longer than that, can also be used after discussing with the treating doctor.
Does age matter?
There is no exact age or weight restriction for total knee replacement surgery but usually we avoid doing both knee replacements together in morbidly obese patients. The recommendations for surgery are purely based on a patient’s pain and disability however, most patients who are referred for total knee replacement are aged between 50- 80. People of this age group should definitely consider a knee replacement surgery if they are having severe knee pain while performing their day to day activities, having moderate or immense pain even while resting or a long-lasting swelling on their knee which is not getting better even after rest or medications.
Walk back to normalcy in 24-hours
Due to availability of advanced treatment options nerve blocks, patients are able to walk with support within 24 hours after the surgery. Computer navigation system also helps in better precision and surgical outcomes which enable a patient to recover.
(The doctors are with Apollo Spectra Hospitals)