Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacements have been a great source of satisfaction for many who suffer from chronic knee pain. Knee problems can occur either due to accidents or because of genetic conditions which make them weak and brittle. In many cases of bone degeneration, people might require a knee replacement surgery to bring back the proper functionality of the knee.

Having a clear understanding of what a knee replacement surgery involves helps in having realistic post-operative expectations. The recovery process is much more simplified the patients tend to cope better.

THE KNEE JOINT

The knee joint is the largest joint in the human body. It is also one of the most commonly injured joints. The knee joint comprises of four main things:

  • Bones
  • Cartilage
  • Ligaments
  • Tendons

It is a complex joint with many components, which make it vulnerable to a variety of injuries and health conditions. Most knee injuries can be treated with simple measures, such as bracing and rehabilitation exercises. However, significant injuries like ACL tears, fractures, etc., or conditions like arthritis may require surgery to correct.

SURGICAL TREATMENT FOR KNEE INJURIES

Many fractures and injuries of the knee may require surgery to restore the function of your leg fully. In cases of ACL tears, surgery can be done arthroscopically with smaller incisions. Some injuries require open surgery which will have a larger incision allowing your surgeon to have a direct view and easier access to the injured area of your knee.

TYPES OF KNEE REPLACEMENTS

Primary: A Primary knee replacement procedure is also known as a Total Knee Arthroplasty, (TKA). It involves the replacement of the whole knee joint. The term primary Knee Replacement describes the initial surgical replacement of a previously un-operated knee. Post the surgery, the patients will get substantial pain relief and mobility. The patient must take good care and avoid undue stress on the new knee.

Complex: For patients having a painful arthritic knee with conditions like an under healed knee surgery, excess wear and tear of muscles, tissues, ligaments and muscles involving the knee joint, a standard primary knee replacement might not suffice the need. A complex knee replacement might be necessary to bring back the desired mobility and functionality of the knee.

A complex knee replacement involves a variety of additional and more complex implants and prosthetic material to replace the worn out knee joint. The surgery includes various bone replacement metal augments, larger plastic liners or bone grafting to restore and correct the alignment of the knee.

Revision: Total knee replacement surgeries are mostly successful. In a majority of cases, it enables people to live better, free of chronic pains. However sometimes, due to involvement in high intensity activities like sports and exercise, or even due to wear and tear, patients might need to go in for repeat corrective surgery later. This is what is known as a revision surgery. A revision knee replacement is a corrective procedure to treat such cases. The procedure involves removal of some or all parts of the original prosthesis used in the primary knee surgery and replacing them with new ones.

Although both primary and revision knee replacement procedures have the same goal, revision surgery takes longer time for the procedure. It is more complex and requires extensive planning. Like mentioned above, knee replacements usually take place without complications, but in some cases, it might fail due to some reasons. When this happens, the knee can become swollen and painful. It may also feel unstable or stiff, making it difficult to perform daily activities. Specialised implants and tools are used for revision knee replacements to achieve a good result.

Hinge Prosthesis: Rotating-hinge knee implants (hinged prosthesis) are used for the revision of total knee arthroplasty in patients with bone loss or severe ligament instability. Insertion of hinged prosthesis relieves pain, improves the range of movement and restores the stability and deformity of the joint.

High Flex: For individuals suffering from osteoarthritis, knee pain becomes a routine of everyday life. A total Knee replacement is an ideal solution to their problem. But not always are people content with purely pain relief that a regular knee replacement will get them. Many seek a higher range of mobility and knee flexibility in their daily routine.

High Flex Knee replacement surgery is an option for individuals who want to resume an active lifestyle after a total knee replacement. High Flex Fixed Knee is designed to resume deep knee bending activities. Early diagnosis, a good pre operative flexibility check and appropriate physical therapy can help a patient’s chance to get back to a normal and active lifestyle as soon as possible. Primary knee replacements are designed to accommodate flexibility up to 125 degrees only. High Flex Knee replacement is specially designed to provide flexibility of up to 155 degrees with high safety, in patients with this ability before getting the surgery done.

Unicondylar: Primary or total knee replacement surgery has proven to be a very effective surgical treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee for many years. However, unicondylar knee replacement (partial knee replacement) has emerged as a viable option for individuals who seek faster motion. Studies show that people who have undergone a unicondylar knee replacement seem to have a more favourable outcome in functions like stair climbing or kneeling.

Unicondylar knee replacement includes the preservation of the internal or external compartment of the knee (medial or lateral compartment), the replacement of only the affected/damaged half of the knee joint. Since a unicondylar procedure has only a part of the joint replaced, the surgery can be performed with a smaller incision. This procedure also involves less blood loss, lower incidence of medical complications, bone and soft tissue dissection etc., thereby offering potential benefits in the early recovery period.