Knee replacement surgery: the optimal solution

Many people experience difficulties when having to perform activities such as climbing the stairs. These difficulties are usually accompanied by symptoms such as pain and swelling and some even begin to experience discomfort when lying in bed. That is the moment when people realize that it is necessary to seek medical assistance and while in many cases the pain and swelling can be handled using non-invasive treatments, sometimes the situation is so critical that total knee replacement remains the only option for the patient. Patients can do some research and educate themselves on the replacement procedure to know what to expect.

The cause of knee pain

As a general rule, surgery is mandatory when other treatment schemes used to relieve pain, like physiotherapy, have stopped working. In order to treat joint pain doctors usually prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections to help relieve swelling. If the non-invasive treatment does not have any effects and the patient still manifests symptoms of discomfort, then the physician has no choice but to advise the patient to undergo surgery. Persons who need immediate medical care are those who experience severe pain even while sitting or are unable to walk anymore due to the pain. In other cases, patients may be experiencing chronic pain for years. Although joint replacement is usually performed on people in their fifties, there is no age limit attached to the surgery, it being performed even on teenagers and young people.

Who needs surgery?

Chronic joint pain is generally the result of the condition called arthritis, the disease that affects mostly elder people. There are many types of arthritis that can affect the health and lead to total disability. Firstly, there is osteoarthritis that only occurs in aged people. What happens is that the cartilage gradually wears away. Rheumatoid arthritis manifests itself in the inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the joint. Finally, joint pain is also caused by fractures of the bones when the tears suffered in the ligaments can damage the cartilage.

Procedure and recovery

During the surgery the physician removes the damaged cartilage and parts of the bone so as to make space for the implant. The surfaces are shaped so as to hold the new joint and the artificial joint is attached to the thigh bone, shin and knee cap. In order to attach the new joint surgeons use cement or other types of materials. The procedure usually takes an hour, but possible complications prolong the surgery to more than that. In addition to this, it is worth mentioning the fact that new advancement in minimally invasive procedures has permitted surgeons to operate without having to make large incisions and thus prevent tissue loss. The period of recovery lasts between three and five days. Possible complications resulting from the replacement procedure are represented by infection, blood clots and problems suffered with the components of the prosthesis. However, there are is less chance that this will happen. Following surgery patients are required to pay regular visits to the physiotherapist in order to help them regain mobility of the leg, which is usually done over an extended period of time. In order to regain functionality of the leg, the therapist will prescribe regular exercise.

In conclusion, joint pain is not to be neglected and patients that have been struggling with chronic pain should go see a doctor so as to get the right treatment scheme. Complications can manifest regardless of age and physical condition. Nowadays replacement surgery has advanced to the point that it is not so much invasive and recovery is fastened.