Knee Replacement Surgery - Everything you need to know

Knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability. It is most commonly performed for osteoarthritis, and also for other knee diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.

Sandeep Singh Created on 7th Jan, 21

Nowadays, many people in Bhubaneshwar with knee problems are opting for a knee replacement procedure. They visit their orthopedic doctor in Bhubaneshwar to learn more about the procedure. 


Are you planning on going for a knee replacement procedure as well? In this article, we have discussed everything you need to know about a knee replacement procedure. 


So, let us dive right in by understanding what a knee replacement is.


What is a Knee Replacement Procedure?         

Knee Replacement Procedure

A knee replacement procedure also called knee arthroplasty can relieve pain and reinstate function in severely diseased knee joints. 


The surgery includes trimming away damaged bone and cartilage from your shinbone, thighbone, and kneecap. It is replaced using an artificial joint (prosthesis) made of metal alloys, polymers, and high-grade plastics. 


To find whether a knee replacement is suitable for you, an orthopedic doctor in Bhubaneshwar examines your: 

  • Knee's range of motion
  • Strength
  • Stability
  • X-rays to see the damage's extent
Knee Replacement

Your specialist can select from various knee replacement prostheses and surgical techniques. Your age, weight, knee size, activity level, shape, and overall health are considered. Now let us move on to understanding why exactly you might need a knee replacement.


Why is a Knee Replacement Performed?

The most general reason for knee replacement procedure is to relieve osteoarthritis's severe pain. People requiring knee replacement procedures often have issues walking, getting in and out of chairs, and climbing stairs.


Risks in a Knee Replacement Procedure

The knee replacement procedure, like any procedure, has risks. They involve:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots in the lungs or leg vein
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Nerve damage


Notify your specialist at once if you notice any signs of infections like:

  • Fever higher than 100 F (37.8 C)
  • Shaking chills
  • Drainage from the surgical site
  • Increasing redness, swelling, tenderness, and pain in the knee


An infected knee replacement often needs to remove the artificial parts and antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria. After the infection gets cleared, another procedure is done to place a new knee.


Artificial knees can wear out

Another knee replacement procedure's risk is an artificial joint failure. Regular use wears even on plastic parts and the strongest metal. Joint failure risk is more if you stress the joint with excessive weight or high-impact activities.


Now that you understand the risks involved in a knee replacement, let us move to what you can expect during various procedure phases.


What you can expect during Knee Replacement

Before the procedure :

The knee replacement procedure requires anaesthesia. Your preference and input help the team determine either to utilize general anaesthesia or spinal anaesthesia.  General anaesthesia makes you unconscious, and spinal anaesthesia keeps you awake, but you cannot feel pain from your waist down. 


You will be given an intravenous antibiotic before, at, and after the surgery to help avoid post-surgical infection. You may also be provided with a nerve block around your knee to numb it. The numbness wears down gradually following the surgery.


During the procedure :

  1. Your knee will be in a bent position to reveal all joint surfaces.
  2. Then making an incision almost six to ten inches (fifteen to twenty-five centimetres) long, your specialist moves aside the kneecap and removes the damaged joint surfaces.
  3. After preparing the joint surfaces, your doctor attaches artificial joint pieces.
  4. Before closing the incision, the surgeon bends and rotates your knee, testing it to function properly. The procedure goes on for about two hours.


After the procedure :

  1. You will be kept in a recovery room for one to two hours. After that, you will be transferred to your hospital room, where you will likely remain for a few days. Your doctor prescribes medicines to help manage pain.
  2. At the hospital stay, you will be encouraged to move your ankle and foot, enhancing blood flow to your leg muscles and preventing swelling and blood clots.
  3. You will likely get blood thinners and wear support compression or hose boots to protect more against clotting and swelling.
  4. You will be asked to do regular breathing exercises and gradually raise your activity level.
  5. The day after your surgery, a physical therapist will show you how to exercise your new knee. When you leave the hospital, you will continue physical therapy at a centre or home.
  6. Do your exercises, as per the guidelines. For early and successful recovery, follow all your care team's guidelines regarding wound care, diet, and exercise.


What are the Results after a Knee Replacement?

Results after a Knee Replacement

For many people, knee replacement gives pain relief, enhanced mobility, and better life quality. Additionally, several knee replacements can be expected to remain for more than 15 years. 


Three to six weeks after the procedure, you can resume many daily activities, like shopping and light housekeeping. Driving is possible after three weeks, only if:

  • You can bend your knee enough to sit in a car
  • Have adequate muscle control to operate the brakes and accelerator
  • Are not taking narcotic pain medications
  • After recovery, you can do various low-impact activities, like swimming, walking, golfing, or biking.


However, it would be best to prevent higher impact activities including skiing, jogging, tennis, and sports that involve jumping or contact. Consult your orthopedic doctor regarding your limitations.