Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Basics of Knee Replacemnet Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is the most common joint replacement procedure. It is medically known as Knee Arthroplasty. The procedure is done if patients are still feeling the pain symptoms during normal activities. The practice is done for patients who have knee diseases like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis.

It can also be applied to patients who have knee injuries. There are two kinds of knee replacement. It can be partial or total replacement. The surgery depends on the severity of the patient's disease or injury. The replacement can also be either metal or plastic.

Normally, the replacement can last for ten to fifteen years. There are non operative treatments to avoid the procedure. Patients are given physiotherapy or physical therapy or they can also do special exercises like walking aids. Taking medicines are also medically advised by their respective physicians. However, if these non operatives can no longer cure the patients, surgery is done.

The traditional procedure of the surgery is when the doctor cuts the knee about ten to thirty centimeters long, until they will reach the knee joint. The worn or damaged parts are removed from the thigh to the shin bone of the patient. Physicians will then, shape the damaged surfaced with the metal or plastic replacement. Once they are done with the fitting process, they will put the knee replacement. The cut will be stitched and closed out.

Nowadays, they have discovered a new method of doing the surgery. The recent medical advances are discovered to lessen the tissue trauma or the surgery marks for the patients. They call it Minimally Invasive Surgery. It is done by just making a small incision and by going between the fibers and the muscles without cutting the tendons.

After the surgery, the patients are encouraged to walk with aids in sticks or walkers. They will also have physical therapists to assist them. It will take time for patients to fully recover. Perseverance and patience are advised for these patients.

Well, in some parts of the world where the surgeries are highly specialized and where everything is governed by robots, knee replacement surgery is not considered a major operation. They categorize it under repairs, whereas other types of surgeries require maximum hands-on operation. It is also important to know the extent of wellness the operation will do to you at the same time the things that you can or can't do.

It is recommended to have an overall examination in a timely manner to avoid misinterpretation and assumptions. It is highly recommended by doctors to immediately seek medical assistance if knee pain is present or felt. It can be just a simple pain but it may give a major medical problem to one's health that can lead to this so called knee replacement surgery.

It is a must that we have to be very vigilant in times of body pains. We do not know what is going on inside our body. What we refer to as a simple muscle or knee pain might already a fatal damage inside. If anything happens or you feel something different, have a check up with your doctor at once to avoid severe complications.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Total Knee Replacement - Why You Shouldn't Wait

Undergoing surgery is not something that anyone looks forward to. Sometimes people will learn to live with pain rather than going under the knife to repair any damage but when it comes to your mobility it's never a good idea to wait. Total knee replacement becomes necessary when the patient's mobility is hampered and typically more damaged is caused when arthritic conditions are ignored. This is especially true for female patients. It is thought that women can bear more pain than men so they wait longer to consider surgery.

What is a total knee replacement?

A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces the ends of the damaged femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone) and creates a smooth knee joint. The prosthetic components are made from metal or plastic and are secured to the bone with cement. Depending on the extent of the damage, a partial knee replacement or uni-compartmental replacement can be done in which only a portion of the joint is replaced. (The knee is comprised of three compartments).

What causes degeneration in the knee joint?

When bones become degenerative it is most commonly associated to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, also referred to as "wear and tear" arthritis is common in older patients and is caused by aging joints, obesity and prior injuries. Symptoms associated with osteoarthritis are joint pain and stiffness and decreased mobility. Weight loss can improve osteoarthritis and has been shown to decrease symptoms.

What to expect after Surgery

After undergoing a total knee replacement, patients are instructed by their physician to under go physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Depending on the amount of trauma, rehabilitation time will vary in patients. Rehabilitation is extensive but is necessary in the process. It is very important to manage weight gain because one of the contributing factors to osteoarthritis is obesity. Throughout the recovery process it is vital to maintain constant communication with your doctor.