arthroplasty brings pain relief and a world of mobility to those who opt for it.
Knee joint is one of the strongest and most essential of all the joints not only because it allows you to walk and run and jump all around but also because it functions as a hinge between the upper and the lower leg bone. Injuries and medical conditions such as arthritis often lead to wear and tear of the bones and tissues that make up this joint, thereby causing knee pain.
There are quite many drugs and other non surgical treatment options but when no medicines and no physical therapies seem to be reducing the pain, arthroplasty comes as a savior!
Let’s demystify this savior!
What happens during a knee arthroplasty procedure?
Arthroplasty involves resurfacing of the damaged bones so as to relieve the pain and restore the movement of the joint. Here’s how it is done
- The damaged tissues and ends of the bones forming the joint are removed.
- The removed parts are replaced with the metal and plastic alternatives so as to recreate the joint. These artificial parts are then cemented into the bone.
- Depending upon the need, the kneecap is also resurfaced with artificial buttons.
- When the bones and the knee cap are in shape, a spacer is positioned to offer smooth gliding surface.
How much time does it take to recover?
After the surgery, you will be required to stay in the hospital for three to five days and then depending on the progress you make, you’ll be suggested an appropriate recovery programme. This may include physiotherapy and several other exercises to help your joints get back to normal soon.
Till then, you’ll have to use crutches to walk around. It may take up to one and a half month more to resume with the normal activities. However, the post surgical effects such as pain, swelling and scars may take even two years to get completely eliminated.
Are there any risks involved?
Yes, there are complications that you may have to face. But then, this is uncertain. Not everyone has to go through this phase of suffering and not everyone is lucky enough to have “no complications” and a successful surgery.
Here are some of the common risks that are associated with arthroplasty
- Infection – Since it’s a surgical procedure and incision is a part of it, infection at the wounded area is always possible.
- Clotting of blood – Now this is something you need to talk to you orthopedic about. It is one of the most common and serious complications that can even put your life at risk if the clot travels to critical organs such as lungs.
- Issues with the implant – It has been seen that, best of the implants wear off or loosen up with time, thereby causing pain and limiting the motion.
- Surgical failure – It’s rare but worth mentioning that to some patients, sufferings do not reduce even after arthroplasty. They continue to experience a similar degree of knee pain post surgery too.
- Injury related to nerves – Inadvertently, some nerves and blood vessels do get injured during the surgery. This may invite another set of neurovascular complications.
There may be other risks too depending on your medical condition. You should talk to your orthopedic about the risks and assess the benefit to risk ratio wisely, before going for arthroplasty.
Dr Ameet Pispati is one of the best Orthopaedic Surgeon to consult in Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Peddar Road, Mumbai for Arthoplasty and Arthroscopy surgeries. There is also a specialized department of Orthopaedics-Arthroscopy having well experienced Orthopaedic surgeons that you can consult at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai Central, Mumbai.