The human body is required to move its joints to maintain proper function. The knees are no exception, as they allow our legs to bend and straighten. Everyone is encouraged to take care of their knees, but one can only do so much because they can still experience issues that could compromise their function.
The good news is that knee replacement surgery can help. As the name suggests, this involves replacing the knee with an artificial one. This can help relieve pain and restore function to the knee, which is highly beneficial for everyone, especially active people. However, not everyone trusts the procedure because they think it will hinder their body movement even more. Some also have misconceptions about the procedure, which are not factual. On the other hand, some people just don't know what to expect when getting the procedure. For this reason, we'll discuss the details in this article.
Before the Knee Replacement Surgery
If you experience chronic pain in your knees, you have to consult with an orthopedic doctor first because surgery is only a last-resort solution. The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and health condition. Next, the doctor will perform a physical exam to check the severity of the damage to your knee.
After the examination, the doctor will determine a test to diagnose the severity of the condition. They may use any of the following methods:
After the diagnosis, the doctor will discuss the treatment options with you. If the doctor recommends knee replacement surgery, the doctor will refer you to an orthopedic surgeon if they can't do the procedure.
Getting the Recommendation
If the doctor or surgeon recommends knee replacement, you'll need to prepare in several ways to ensure a successful recovery after the procedure. Of course, this depends on the severity and circumstances of your condition.
For one, you may need assistive equipment to help you walk, such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair. Your home must also be accessible to you by removing any obstacles or potential hazards. You may also need to install handrails and grab bars in your bathroom. Your clothing must also be loose-fitting and comfortable to prevent it from brushing against the incision site. It will also avoid restricting your movement, which is necessary for faster recovery.
What Happens during a Knee Replacement Procedure?
The doctor will administer a general anesthetic to keep you asleep during the procedure. This will ensure that you don't feel any pain.
The doctor will then make an incision in the knee, remove the damaged cartilage and bone, then place the metal implants and secure them with cement or bone screws. The doctor will also reattach your tendons and ligaments.
After the procedure, you will be taken to the recovery room. You will be given pain medication to ensure you don't feel discomfort. You may also be required to stay in the hospital for at least two days or more until the doctor or surgeon clears you of any issues.
Once you're at home, it's best to divide your time between moving and resting in one place to train your new knees without straining them. This is where you'll use a cane, walker, or wheelchair. For this reason, it's recommended that you stay in a one-level living space or on your home's ground floor so you won't have to deal with stairs.
You may also be requested to visit your doctor for routine checkups and physical therapy. How often you visit will depend on the severity of your condition. Your doctor will make this determination.
A knee replacement surgery, when recommended by your doctor, is life-changing. The surgery and the recovery process can be complicated, but with the right amount of rest and rehabilitation, you can return to your normal life. The most important thing is to listen to your doctor or surgeon's instructions to hasten your recovery.
If you’re looking for orthopedic surgeons in Atlanta, Atlanta Bone and Joint Specialists can help you! We understand the need for proper mobility and movement, so we offer solutions to ensure your body motivity is not compromised. Simply go to our website to set an appointment!