Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Knee Replacement

Knee Replacement

Knee arthroplasty or a knee replacement surgery is generally conducted for the purpose relieving pain and osteoarthritis disability. The surgeon generally cuts away the damaged bone and cartilage from the thigh, shin and kneecap bones. He or she than replaces them with a man made prosthesis or joint that is made of metal, plastic and polymers. Knee replacement surgeries are conducted on a person who is suffering from pain, knee deformities, difficulty in moving and failure in other medical treatments. Knee replacements surgeries are more common in people who are above 55 years though these surgeries may be conducted on younger people as well.

The other major reasons for the purpose of conducting a knee surgery may be ligament tears, cartilage defects or meniscus tears. A knee surgery can be a partial knee surgery or a total knee surgery. After the surgery one suffers from normally suffers from post operational pain and needs the support of a clutch or walker. Doctors usually administer rigorous physical rehabilitation for addressing the above and helping the patient to recover successfully. The recovery period of a knee replacement surgery is generally six weeks however it may take longer in the case of certain patients.

After a knee replacement surgery a person cannot indulge in any kind of high impact sports, jogging and certain activities. In order to conduct a knee replacement surgery an orthopedic doctor notes down the medical history of a person. An X-Ray is generally taken in order to ascertain the degree of damage that has been done to the knee. The doctor may also conduct a blood test, urine test and an electrocardiogram before the surgery is conducted.

Before the knee replacement surgery the doctor may advise the patient to take certain medications and food before the operation. Doctors generally advise patients not to eat anything after midnight before the day of the surgery. In consultation with the patient the doctor conducts either a general or a regional anesthesia. A general anesthesia generally renders the patient unconscious during the operation whereas a regional anesthesia keeps the patient awake but he or she does not feel any kind of sensation in the operated area.

A knee replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged joint with metal and plastic parts to allow continued motion of the knee. During the surgery the knee is usually kept in a bent position so that the knee joint is fully exposed. The surgeon makes an incision of about 6 to 12 inches and moves the kneecap to cut away the damaged surface of the joint. The surgeon takes the measurements for the prosthesis and makes the rough edges of the joint smooth.

After doing so the doctor inserts the prosthesis. Before he closes the incision the knee is bent and rotated to check whether it functions properly and this entire procedure generally takes about two hours.
The patient needs to strictly follow the post operational guidelines that his or her doctor prescribes so that he or she recovers successfully and without hassles.

The following links have been referred to while writing this article: