Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is the process of replacing the damaged kneecap, thighbone and shinbone with artificial plastic material and metal alloys. TKR is also called Knee Arthroplasty.
The surgery is conducted by an experienced orthopedic surgeon and involves intricate bone recreation processes. The captella or kneecap is mainly restructured in the surgery using a knee prosthesis which is made up of a combination of metal and plastics. In most cases, artificial knee joint is able to replicate the abilities of natural knee joint.
The following tests are most important before TKR is scheduled.
Complete physical examination of the bone structure of the affected area and its surroundings. Specific pain related tests that include pricking and rubber hammering at specific points determine exact cause of pain and nerve condition. Ability to move the limb is tested to check seriousness of disability. Medications prescribed to correct the condition are checked to see if working.
The injured knee will be evaluated using X ray studies from all axes to help the surgeon determine the extent of damage to the joint. Multiple X ray reports also help the orthopedic determine any abnormalities in joint shape and structure by comparing with X rays of the other knee joint.
Bloodtests will be done to determine tolerance in your body and detect any chances of infection causing organisms occurring in your blood. If any infection is detected, then treatment to remove the infection is completed before the surgery is scheduled.
Other Diagnostic Tests: These include check-ups of blood pressure, urine and stool tests, ad any specific test to allergies that may be required in specific cases.
You should report any condition of hyper allergy or uncontrollable blood loss to the doctor before surgery.
You will be required to stay in the hospital for 2 to 3 days, after the procedure. During your stay you will be made to do certain leg exercises that will help improve flow of blood in the leg.
Once you are back to your home, the following care is highly important:
Under the supervision of a trained physiotherapist, you will be required to exercise and move the knee joint area. This process starts when you are admitted in the hospital after the procedure and continues even after you have been discharged and are at home. The physiotherapist monitors the improvement in muscle and nerve control at the new joint and reports in cases of any swelling or soreness.
The operated area needs to be kept dry and clean and at no cost should there be any external damage to the stitches. The doctor provides with specific bath instructions and maintains the instructions till the staples or stitches are removed. Presence of moisture around the incision can lead to fluid accumulation and pus formation at the stitches which can increase chances of infection.
In case of swelling at the knee joint, you will be asked to raise his leg and apply ice packs.
In case of soreness, a light dose of physiotherapy is advised and use of medication to obtain pain relief is allowed only to the extent that the medicines do not cause further bleeding. Therefore, aspirin and similar pain relievers are not prescribed in this condition.
Fever, redness, or pain at or near the incision point must be reported to the doctor immediately. It is also important to take steps to reduce chances of pneumonia.
Other post operative care includes use of cane or walker to assist in walking till balance and muscle control is achieved completely.
You will be asked to use handrails while climbing stairs and walking long distances and use shower benches and long handle sponges or showers to reduce bending at the knee area while bathing.
You will be able to resume your normal routine 4 to 6 weeks and experience better mobility after the knee replacement surgery. However, activities like jogging, jumping, skipping or sports activities should be minimized.
How to prevent the replaced knee joint from getting damaged?
To avoid any further damage to the knee area the patient must walk very carefully after the operation. Remember, the new knee joint may get disturbed if there is a fall or odd movement and may require a second surgery to put back in place. Other tools that are recommended include:
Long handled showers and sponges
Shower benches or chairs and raised toilet seats to allow limited bending of the knee joint.
Strong handrails along stairs and shower areas for safety of the patient while he moves.
Dressing stick to help while changing
Sock aid and a long-handled horn to avoid extra activity to the new knee joint caused by bending while wearing shoes or socks.
Use of a reaching stick to grab/reach objects
Removal of carpets that are loose and carelessly placed electrical cords that can cause the patient to trip
Preventing stair-climbing unless it is recommended for you by your physiotherapist
If you have any additional questions, talk to our in-house doctors. Call 1800-1022-733 (toll free).
Credihealth is a medical assistance company that gives guidance to a patient from the first consultation through the entire hospitalization process. A team of in-house Credihealth doctors helps the patient find the right doctor, book appointment, request cost estimate for procedures and manage admission & discharge processes.