Precautions after Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement is a surgical process that doctors undertake to replace the painful knee joint with an artificial one. In the process of knee replacement, the end of the femur bone is taken out and replaced with a metal shell. The doctors also remove the end of the lower leg bone called tibia. It is then replaced with a channeled plastic piece made of the metal stem.
According to a study, about 90% of the people who go through knee replacement surgery found out that it actually helped them improve their pain. So you can consider it if you are going through it for a long time. Moreover, there are three different types of knee replacement surgery:
- Total knee replacement: Here, the whole knee is replaced.
- Partial knee replacement: In this surgery, only the affected part is replaced.
- Bilateral knee replacement: In this, both the knees are replaced.
Who should consider Knee replacement surgery?
People who are suffering from OA mainly goes for knee surgery, but it is also common in people with problems like:
- Knee injury including meniscus tear or ligament tear
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Knee deformity from birth
However, some people do not need knee replacement surgery, their problem can be cured by following activities:
- Carrying exercise daily
- Losing weight
- Taking over-the-counter medicines
How much pain is involved in knee replacement surgery?
You can expect to experience pain after the surgery for a while, and in order to cope with the pain, the doctor will give you some over-the-counter medicines. So it would help if you inform your doctor about your condition and how well the drugs are working. Also, do let the doctor know if you are experiencing any adverse effects of the medications.
Complications relating to the surgery
As every surgery carry some complications, so do knee replacement surgery. After going through knee surgery, you may fall under the risk of:
- Blood clots
- Continuing pain, even if the surgery was successful.
How long can you expect the knee surgery to last?
The artificial knee has an expiration date, and when that day arrives, you will require a second knee replacement surgery. According to research, around 82% of the people who have gone through knee replacement found it was still functioning after 25 years. So, it is not compulsory for many cases that the patient has to go through a second surgery.
Precautions you can take after your knee surgery
After going through the surgery successfully, you must take the following precautions to avoid any complications and make the artificial knee last long.
- Wound care
As knee replacement is an invasive process, it will involve sutures and staples over your wound. You must never cut these sutures on your own at home as it may worsen your wound. It should be removed only by a practiced clinician.
- Avoiding blood clot
There is a high risk of developing a blood clot in the first few weeks of surgery. So it is imperative to take the anticoagulants that your surgeons suggest. Also, be vigilant if you see any blood clot signs like redness, swelling, excessive pain in the calf, and irritation in the treated area.
- Limited physical activities
Right after you have gone through the surgery, you must be careful not to put your total body weight on the replaced joint. Your surgeon will give you complete instructions on how much pressure you can put on your knees. As a result, you will be able to avoid injury, damage, or dislocation of your joint. Moreover, during the first few weeks of the surgery, the doctor will advise you to use crutches, a crane, or a stick to walk around. Other instructions may include:
- Sit on those chairs only that have a seat as high as your knee
- Don’t cross or twist your legs
- Avoid excessive kneeling
- Don’t stand for long hours
- Don’t sleep on the side body
- Climb only one stair at a time.
Going through knee surgery is essential for people who are suffering from extreme knee joint pain. The process involved is invasive and may involve some risk but will help you release the pain you are suffering from for so long. Also, make sure to follow every instruction to avoid any future complications.