Knee replacement surgery is a common procedure that is used to treat arthritis and other joint problems. It involves replacing the worn-out parts of the knee joint with artificial components. Here, we will discuss how knee replacement surgery works and what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
What is Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces the damaged or worn parts of the knee joint with artificial components. It involves removing part of the thigh bone (femur) and replacing it with a metal stem. The lower part of the femur is then capped with a piece of plastic, called a prosthetic cup, which will act as the new joint. The kneecap (patella) may also be replaced with a plastic component to further reduce pain and improve mobility.
Before the Surgery
Prior to knee replacement surgery, you will need to see a doctor for evaluation and testing. This includes X-rays and other imaging tests to determine the extent of damage to the knee joint and to assess your overall health. You may also need to make lifestyle changes before surgery such as losing weight, giving up smoking, or taking prescribed medications.
During the Surgery
Generally, knee replacement surgery in Melbourne is done in a hospital under general anesthesia by Melbourne-based specialist orthopaedic surgeons. An incision will be made to access the knee joint and any damaged cartilage or bone will be removed. The remaining bones of the knee joint are resurfaced with metal and plastic components to create a new, more durable joint.
Since you will be under general anesthesia, you will not feel any pain during the surgery. The surgeon may also opt to add a cement-like material to hold the new joint securely in place.
Once knee replacement surgery is complete, you can expect some discomfort and swelling near the site of the incision. You may be prescribed medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Your surgeon may also recommend physical therapy to help improve the range of motion and strengthen the leg muscles. It typically takes up to six weeks for you to heal fully and return to regular activities; of course, it can take longer in some patients.
Benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a major procedure, but it can improve your overall quality of life. After recovery, most patients report less pain and increased mobility in the affected area. Many people can resume activities they found difficult or impossible before the surgery such as walking, running, or climbing stairs.
In some cases, knee replacement surgery can help reduce long-term health risks associated with chronic knee pain. For example, if arthritis is causing your knee pain, the surgery can help to prevent further joint damage.
The recovery process for knee replacement surgery can take several weeks or months, depending on how quickly you heal. During this time, you may need physical therapy to improve strength and coordination in the affected area. Your doctor will let you know when it’s safe to return to activities like walking and running.
Knee replacement surgery can be an effective way to reduce knee pain, improve mobility, and get back to the activities you enjoy. While there are some risks associated with the procedure, most people who have undergone knee replacement surgery experience a marked improvement in their quality of life. Before undergoing this option, be sure to speak to an expert.
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