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Knee replacement surgery, also known as total knee arthroplasty (TKA), is a medical procedure that involves the replacement of a damaged or severely arthritic knee joint with an artificial prosthesis. This surgical intervention is performed to alleviate chronic pain, improve joint function, and enhance the overall quality of life for individuals with knee joint problems.

Key Aspects of Knee Replacement Surgery:

  1. Indications: Knee replacement surgery is recommended for individuals with knee joint conditions that cause persistent pain and disability. Common indications include:
    • Osteoarthritis: The degeneration of knee joint cartilage, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility.
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis: An autoimmune condition that affects the knee joint.
    • Post-Traumatic Arthritis: Arthritis that develops after a severe knee injury.
    • Knee Deformities: Severe knee joint deformities that impair function and cause pain.
  2. Preoperative Evaluation: Before the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon conducts a thorough evaluation, which may include medical history assessment, physical examination, imaging tests (X-rays, MRI), and discussions about expectations and risks.
  3. Surgical Procedure: Knee replacement surgery typically includes the following steps:
    • Anesthesia: The patient is administered either general anesthesia or regional anesthesia (spinal or epidural) to ensure comfort and pain relief during the procedure.
    • Incision: A surgical incision is made to access the knee joint. The size and location of the incision may vary based on the surgeon's approach.
    • Knee Joint Access: The surgeon removes damaged joint components, including damaged cartilage and bone.
    • Prosthesis Implantation: Artificial components are securely implanted into the knee joint. These typically consist of metal and plastic components, including the femoral component (metal thigh bone part), the tibial component (plastic or metal shinbone part), and sometimes a patellar component (kneecap).
    • Closure: After the prosthesis is in place, the incision is closed with sutures or staples.
  4. Recovery and Rehabilitation: Following surgery, patients usually stay in the hospital for a few days to monitor their recovery. Physical therapy is an integral part of rehabilitation, helping patients regain strength, range of motion, and function in the replaced knee. Patients may use assistive devices like crutches or a walker during the initial recovery period.
  5. Benefits: Knee replacement surgery offers several benefits, including:
    • Pain relief and improved knee joint function.
    • Increased mobility and the ability to engage in daily activities with less difficulty.
    • Enhanced quality of life and overall well-being.
  6. Risks and Complications: While knee replacement surgery is generally safe and effective, it carries certain risks, including infection, blood clots, implant wear over time, and implant loosening. The likelihood of complications is relatively low, and most individuals experience significant improvements in knee joint function and pain relief.
  7. Long-Term Outcomes: Knee replacements are designed to be long-lasting, and many individuals enjoy pain-free knee function for decades after the surgery.

Knee replacement surgery is a highly successful procedure that has transformed the lives of countless individuals by restoring mobility and reducing pain. It is considered a reliable and effective treatment for those with debilitating knee joint conditions. Patients should collaborate closely with their orthopedic surgeon to determine if knee replacement is the right option for them and to receive comprehensive pre- and postoperative care.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Dr. Vikas Gupta Dr. Vikas Gupta

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