Total knee replacement surgery is seen as the standard procedure in the treatment of patients with severe joint damage. It is one of the most effective treatments available.
Although the surgery is referred to as joint replacement surgery, in actuality, the only thing “replaced” is the surface of the damaged joint, similar to the capping of a tooth. The bones are re-positioned and re-aligned as close to normal as possible.
Suitable Candidates for Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Total knee replacement surgery is suitable for patients suffering from severe knee joint damage in which the joint is out of its position or moving irregularly. It is usually selected as an option after non-surgical treatments such as pain medication, physical rehabilitation, and lifestyle changes have been proven unsuccessful.
Types of Knee Prostheses and Their Expected Life Span
Artificial knee joints have been consistently developing and improving for almost 50 years. Knee prostheses today have characteristics very similar to normal knees. The meniscus of the artificial joint is manufactured from Polyethylene that has been treated with radiation or additional antioxidants. Implants are made of cobalt chrome, titanium, or ceramic material.
There are numerous knee prostheses types and models. Specialists will offer patients advice and assistance in selecting an artificial knee joint to assure they choose the one most suitable.
Artificial knee joints have an expected life span of over 25-30 years, although the actual lifespan of the artificial joint does depend on each individual. Nevertheless, 85-90% of patients generally get about 20 years of good use out of their artificial joint.
Pre and Post-Surgery
Pre-surgery and post-surgery preparations are highly important. Before proceeding with surgery, patients will get to learn about the procedure step-by-step — before, during, and after surgery. They will learn the roles of the physician and anesthesiologist, as well as the roles of the physical rehabilitation team such as muscle strength training and helping the patient learn how to walk with their new joint. In most cases, with pain medication administered both before and after surgery, patients are able to stand and walk the day after surgery and return home 3-5 days later.
Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand
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