When should you consult a knee surgeon, what is engaged in knee replacement surgery, and what seems to be the post surgery recovery like? Read on to learn more.
If your knees are feeling old or you have had an injury to your knee, then knee surgery may become part of your future. If you think you may need a knee replacement, consult a knee surgeon and he’ll do an examination to assess the extent of the damage. This will determine what type of surgery you need.
The average knee replacement surgery includes removing the edges of the bone and joint and replacing them with new joint surfaces, commonly made of plastic, metal, or porcelain. Most of the time the replacement includes the upper portions of the shinbone and the lower portion of the leg bone. Sometimes the damage only requires a partial placement, such as the patella, only.
Tendonitis anatomy of the knee nerves
When movement becomes too difficult, the pain becomes too severe, and the medicine no longer works to stop the pain, see a knee surgeon. He will do some x-rays on the joint. These will tell him precisely what the extent of the damage is and will help determine what kind of surgery you may rest a candidate for. However, if you’re deemed unhealthy, have an infection, thinning bones, thigh muscle weakness, and you’re overweight the surgeon may not recommend that you get your knee replaced as it could cause extra pressures on the new joint.
When the surgery is over, you’ll be on IV antibiotics for at least 1 day as well as medicine to monitor the pain and to avoid blood clots. Queasiness and constipation are common complaints for the initial few days. You will likewise have a large bandage on the knee and likely a tube to drain off any excess fluids to eliminate fluid on the joint as it heals. These will usually be subject to a compression stocking to prevent the blood from clotting. Your knee surgeon will recommend that you begin bearing weight on it within a day and you’ll begin working with a therapist almost immediately to help you gain movement back faster.
As you continue the recovery process you’ll begin to take less pain medicine and will gradually walk more often as the pain lessens. You will also begin the rehabilitation process with the expectation that your knee will once be useable for normal daily activities. The amount of rehab that you need will vary according to the extent of your surgery.
There are risks involved, as with any other surgery. These include blood clots which can block the blood flow to the core or lungs, infection, damage to the nerves around the joint, trouble healing around the wound, kneecap dislocation or fracture, range of motion problems, and the absence of stability of the joint due to improper joint alignment.
If you’re thinking of having knee surgery, consult a knee surgeon and follow the directives that he gives so that you’re prepared for any complications that come up and the healing that is required.