Knee Replacement Surgery
Underlying Problem Requiring Knee Replacement Surgery:
There are a number of factors that might indicate a knee replacement surgery, with osteoarthritis being the most common. Others include different types of arthritis, meniscus or ligament tears, cartilage defects, and trauma caused by accidents. Most of these causes create a significant amount of pain for the patient, and the knee replacement surgery is usually a dramatic effort to relieve or reduce this pain.
Knee replacement surgery is also called knee arthropasty, and it requires quite a bit of preparation. Doctors must utilize x-rays to choose components that are the right size for the patient, for example. Blood transfusions are always a possibility, so doctors must have the appropriate information in case this becomes necessary.
The surgery itself requires doctors to partially detach the quadriceps muscle from the kneecap. The kneecap, or patella, is then moved to the side to reveal the joint below. The upper end of the tibia and the lower end of the femur will then be cut and replaced with metal components. These can be impacted onto the bone or held in place with \"cement\". The components are fashioned to work as similarly to the naturally occurring joint as is possible, while minimizing friction and allowing for proper weight distribution. The patient.s ligaments and patella will likely be replaced to offer good range of motion and proper healing, although the kneecap is sometimes replaced, as well.
Some patients only require a partial knee replacement surgery. This involves a smaller incision and usually results in a shorter recovery period.
Recovery from Knee Replacement Surgery:
Knee replacement is a major surgery, and the recovery time may reflect this. In order to give the quadriceps muscle time to recover, the patient will need to use crutches or a walker. The required hospital stay can vary by quite a bit, with most patients remaining between one and seven days post-op. Full range of motion often returns within the first two weeks, and by the six week point, patients will generally be able to bear weight on the knee with the assistance of a cane. A return to full function can generally be expected in about three months.
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