Knee pain can be punishing. And for anyone suffering, the prospect of living with it for the rest of their lives seems unbearable. That’s why so many people seek out total knee replacement surgery as a way to alleviate suffering and return to an active life. In Albany, GA, some experts can offer the procedure successfully. These specialists in total knee replacement in Albany do proper scanning of the knee before the treatment. But before you make that decision, you should know some essential things about this major procedure.
What is a Total Knee Replacement?
A total knee replacement surgery involves removing the damaged parts of your knee and replacing them with metal and plastic components shaped to replicate a natural-feeling joint. This is called a prosthesis.
The surgery is done through a small incision in the front of your knee. After the damaged bone and cartilage are removed, the surgeon installs prosthetic components into your leg to restore full function and range of motion.
Who Needs the Procedure?
People with knee pain that limits everyday activities are candidates for knee replacement. It includes people who have problems walking, climbing stairs, or getting in and out of a chair. Knee replacements are recommendable for people with severe arthritis pain or stiffness that is severe.
What Happens During a Total Knee Replacement?
The surgery, which takes about two hours to perform, is done under anesthetic and requires a stay in the hospital. The surgeon will cut (incision) over your kneecap and remove the damaged cartilage and bone. Some people also choose to have their knee cap (patella) removed during this surgery.
Next, the surgeon will prepare your thigh bone to fit with a prosthesis by shaping it to accommodate the metal and plastic parts that replace the diseased joint. The surgeon then creates cuts in your shinbone to match up with holes on the new components of your knee, securing them into position before connecting them. This part of the procedure is called bone-to-bone cutting.
Finally, once all of these components are in place, your surgeon will secure them with special cement that hardens as it dries or by inserting screws into the bone. The excess adhesive or hardware is then cleaned from your knee using suction.
What Should I Expect After Surgery?
After surgery, you’ll be moved to a recovery room where your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored and then to a regular room. You may need help moving around for the first few days after surgery, and there might be some swelling and pain at the site of your incision. However, these symptoms should improve within a week or two after surgery. You’ll also likely be on pain medication to help you manage your discomfort.
In the days following surgery, you will begin physical therapy to help strengthen and restore mobility in your new joint. It’s also vital that you don’t put weight on your leg for about six weeks after surgery while the surgically repaired ligaments heal. Most patients can get back to their normal activities and return to work within a few weeks.
If you are suffering from knee pain and looking for relief, total knee replacement might be the answer. This procedure is suitable for those who have problems walking or climbing stairs due to severe arthritis pain or stiffness that can’t be treated any other way. Knee replacements may also be needed by people with significant limitations in their daily activities caused by long-term knee pain.