Knee replacement surgery is recommended when knee injury or arthritis occurs, particularly osteoarthritis, which restricts the bending and flexing of knees due to damage, inflammation and pain. Over a period, it permanently damages the knee joints thereby making movements more difficult and painful.
The cartilage which serves as a cushion between the bone joints is completely deteriorated thereby causing the bone to rub against each other which causes pain and restricts movement.
Total knee replacement procedure
Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure wherein the damaged knee joint is replaced with mechanical implants. During a total knee replacement surgery, the thigh bone is covered with a metal shell and lower leg shin bone is encased within a channeled plastic piece with a metal stem. The artificial component prosthesis replaces the irregular and rough surface of the damaged bone with smooth surfaces. In order to reduce the pain and facilitate smooth movement of the joint, the under surface of the knee cap is further replaced with a plastic surface. Depending upon the condition of the knee joint, the posterior ligament is retained, removed or replaced by a polyethylene post.
It requires the patient to stay for three to five days in a hospital. The surgery is immediately followed by physical therapy sessions in the hospitals. The initial movements post-surgery will require the use of a cane or walker. The physical and occupational therapy sessions include exercises which the patient can practice at home. The healing period varies from patient to patient, but generally takes 8-9 weeks after which the patient does not require any assistance to perform daily activities.
The risks attached to total knee replacement surgery are infections, blood clots in the legs, urinary tract infection, nausea and vomiting, bleeding of the knee joints, unsuitability of the implants to the body or pain and injury to the blood vessels around the knee joints.
Knee replacement in India
According to reports, Knee Replacement Surgery is recommended to a large number of middle-aged and older patients visiting hospitals with chronic knee pain and arthritis. Various reports have suggested that the benefits of the surgery are much lower compared to exercise therapy. In India, the surgery is quite expensive ranging from Rs. 75,000/- to Rs. 1,00,000/-. Moreover, knee replacement surgery is still more complicated in youngsters as it is effective only for a period of 10-15 years after which a revision surgery needs to be done. Nowadays, when other advanced cartilage replacements and physiotherapy procedures are available which may prolong the life of the knee joint, a total knee replacement surgery should be considered as the last resort.
Book surgery packages online
Booking of the surgery packages has become quite hassle-free these days as it can be booked online just with a few clicks and from the comfort of your home. All the information regarding hospitals and appointments with the doctor are available online. You can even compare hospitals, costs involved and the best doctors available for treatment and select the most suitable option.
Knee replacement surgery provides considerable pain relief for more than 90% of patients suffering from osteoarthritis and is considered to be an effective procedure in Orthopaedics. The replacement joints last for 10-15 years with a high probability that the patient will once again participate in activities such as walking, golf, tennis and swimming, but it is important that the patient understands the implications of treatment and has a thorough discussion with the surgeon before going for the operation.