How Knee Replacement Surgery Works

knee replacement surgery

Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a common procedure designed to relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. This surgery involves replacing damaged or worn-out knee joint surfaces with artificial implants. Here’s an in-depth look at how knee replacement surgery works:

1. Pre-Operative Preparation

Before the surgery, a comprehensive evaluation is conducted to ensure the patient is a suitable candidate for knee replacement. This includes:

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: The surgeon reviews the patient’s medical history and performs a physical examination to assess the knee’s condition.
  • Imaging Studies: X-rays, MRI scans, and other imaging techniques are used to get a detailed view of the knee joint and the extent of the damage.
  • Pre-Surgical Planning: The surgeon plans the procedure, including the selection of the appropriate type and size of the implant.

2. Anesthesia

On the day of the surgery, the patient is given anesthesia to ensure comfort throughout the procedure. The types of anesthesia used include:

  • General Anesthesia: The patient is put to sleep for the duration of the surgery.
  • Regional Anesthesia: The lower body is numbed while the patient remains awake but sedated.

3. Surgical Procedure

The surgical procedure typically involves the following steps:

  • Incision: A surgical incision is made on the front of the knee to access the joint.
  • Preparation of the Joint: The damaged bone and cartilage from the thighbone (femur), shinbone (tibia), and kneecap (patella) are removed. The surfaces are shaped to fit the prosthetic components.
  • Implant Placement: The artificial components are positioned to recreate the surface of the joint. These components are typically made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and polymers. They may be cemented or press-fit into the bone.
  • Reconstruction: The knee is carefully reconstructed, ensuring that the components are properly aligned and functioning.
  • Closure: The incision is closed with sutures or staples, and a sterile dressing is applied.

4. Post-Operative Care

After the surgery, the patient is moved to a recovery area where medical staff monitor their vital signs. Post-operative care includes:

  • Pain Management: Medications are administered to manage pain and prevent infection.
  • Physical Therapy: Rehabilitation begins soon after surgery to improve mobility and strengthen the muscles around the knee.
  • Hospital Stay: The patient may stay in the hospital for a few days, depending on their recovery progress.

5. Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovery from knee replacement surgery involves a combination of rest, physical therapy, and gradual return to activities:

  • Early Recovery: Initial recovery focuses on controlling pain and swelling while starting gentle exercises to regain motion.
  • Physical Therapy: A structured physical therapy program is essential to improve strength, flexibility, and overall knee function.
  • Long-Term Recovery: Full recovery can take several months, during which the patient gradually resumes normal activities and enjoys improved knee function.

Knee replacement surgery is a highly effective procedure that can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with severe knee pain and mobility issues. For more information on knee replacement surgery, visit this website.

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