Looking After Your Knee Replacement
Your new knee will continue to improve for as much as two years after your operation as the scar tissue heals and you exercise your muscles. You’ll need to look after yourself and pay attention to any of the following problems:
Stiffness Sometimes the knee can become very stiff in the weeks after the operation for no obvious reason. Try placing your foot on the first or second step of the stairs, hold on to the banister and lean into your knee. This should help to improve movement and flexibility in your knee. Its very important to continue with the exercises you were working on in the hospital.If the stiffness doesnt improve after about six weeks your surgeon may need to move or manipulate your knee. This will be done under anaesthetic.
Pain Pain caused by bruising from the operation is normal in the first two months, and you’ll probably still need to take painkillers at six weeks to help you sleep through the night. You may still have some pain for as long as six months. If you still have pain after this, speak to your physiotherapist or GP.
Infection You should speak to your GP or hospital if you notice any signs of infection, for example:
- breakdown of the wound with oozing/pus or sores
- increased pain
- redness and the affected area feeling warmer than usual or smelling unpleasant.
You should also look after your feet see a doctor or podiatrist if you notice any problems such as ingrown toenails that could become infected.
What Is The Fastest Way To Recover From Knee Surgery
4 Tips for Faster Recovery after Knee Surgery Keep the Knee Straight. While it may not be incredibly comfortable, its important that you keep your knee joint completely straight immediately after your surgery. Wear Your Knee Brace. After your surgery, your doctor may give you a knee brace. Appropriate Exercise. Physical Therapy.
Knee Replacement Surgery For Arthritis
Knee pain is one of the most frustrating complaints among people of all ages, and arthritis of the knee joint is unfortunately common. The strongest and largest joint in the body, the knee is comprised of a complex network of muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and tissue, any of which can become damaged or worn over time. While there are many different causes of chronic knee pain, one that we deal with the most is arthritis.
Arthritis is described as inflammation of one or more of your joints, resulting in pain, swelling, and stiffness. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, but osteoarthritis is the most common form in the knee. Osteoarthritis occurs over time with regular wear and tear and is considered a degenerative condition, which is why it often affects older people.
While it is true that any joint in the body can be affected by arthritis, the knee is particularly susceptible. Not only is arthritis of the knee annoying, but it can have an impact on your ability to perform regular, day-to-day activities comfortably. This is where knee replacement surgery comes in. In fact, the most common reason people undergo a total knee replacement is because of arthritis.
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Looking For Alternatives To Total Knee Replacements
We’re also funding research which is investigating alternative approaches to total knee replacement. For example, total knee replacement is not recommended for many young people. This study aims to develop a new method called ToKa®, which uses images of the patient’s joint and specially designed software to design a patient specific implant that will be made via 3D printing. If successful, this technique could prevent osteoarthritis patients from needing total joint replacement.
The Unexplained Noises My Knee Is Making
This is something we typically hear in a post-knee replacement patient who is having some challenges.
I started to become concerned when I noticed a clunking and clicking sound coming from my knee. Like metal on metal. My doctor told me that this was no concern, some people who get knee replacements have these old car, sounds coming from their knee. Not to worry. My doctor did advise me that the sounds if they continued could be caused by weakened muscles and tendons in my knees and I should consider an exercise program to tighten them up.
I did ask if the knee implant was coming loose. My doctor said, if it were, I would not be able to walk up and down stairs or even put weight on that foot. I would have a lot of swelling and I would feel like my knee may give out. I looked at the doctor and said, BUT I DO HAVE THOSE SYMPTOMS, Yes you do, the doctor said, but it is not from implant loosening. You probably just need to strengthen that knee up.
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How Do I Get Ready For A Joint Aspiration
Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you and offer you the chance to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
You will be asked to sign a consent form that gives your permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if something is not clear.
Tell your healthcare provider if you are sensitive to or are allergic to any medicines, latex, tape, and anesthetic agents .
Tell your healthcare provider of all medicines and herbal supplements that you are taking.
Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant medicines, aspirin, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. It may be necessary for you to stop these medicines before the procedure.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, you should notify your healthcare provider.
Generally, no prior preparation, such as fasting or sedation is needed.
Based on your medical condition, your healthcare provider may request other specific preparation.
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Your Pain Prevents You From Doing Normal Activities Or Caring For Yourself
If you cant get relief from other treatments, your knee pain may start interfering with your daily life.
In general, the timing of a total knee replacement is determined by the impact the knee is having on your quality of life, says Jay Lieberman, MD, chief of orthopaedic surgery at Keck Medicine and chair and professor of orthopaedic surgery at the Keck School. If conservative treatments are not working and you have significant pain while walking, you may be a good candidate for surgery.
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What Does A Knee Reconstruction Involve
A knee replacement operation will usually take between one and 2 hours. After evaluation by an anaesthetist, you will be given either a general anaesthetic or a spinal anaesthetic .
A knee reconstruction involves surgery to replace your knee joint with a prosthesisan artificial knee joint. Mostly, these prostheses are made of plastic and metal, and consist of 3 main components:
- femoral component
- tibial component and
- patellar component.
The metal femoral and tibial components are attached to the end of the femur and the top of the tibia . On the end of the metal components is a polyethylene coating which acts as replacement cartilage. The patella may be resurfaced with a plastic button in some cases.
Fear Of Harming The Prosthesis
The limited research available on this topic suggests a real difference between perceived and actual ability to kneeland for those who don’t think they can kneel, fear of harming the prosthesis is the motivating factor.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, kneeling is not harmful to your knee after a total knee replacement, although it may be uncomfortable.
Any difficulty in kneeling should become easier with time, but people generally always have the sensation that the knee is artificial and not “normal.”
Overall, it’s important to remember that the goal of a total knee replacement is an improvement in knee motion, but regaining full knee motion is unlikely.
Also, if you undergo a total knee replacement because of arthritis, it’s important to remember that surgery is not going to allow you to do things that you couldn’t do prior to the surgery.
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What About Exercise Following A Knee Replacement
Exercise and sport are recommended after knee replacement, apart from contact sports, which may weaken the cement and lead to loosening of the joint components. Recreational sports including golf, tennis and skiing will gradually become possible depending on how fit and sporty you were before the operation. Cycling is a very good way of building up strength and mobility after knee surgery.
Exercising the main muscle groups around your knee is very important both before and after having a knee replacement. You can download a selection of exercises that are designed to stretch, strengthen and stabilise the structures that support your knee. Try to perform these exercises regularly, for instance for 10 minutes six to eight times a day. However, its important to find a balance between rest and exercise so you dont overwork your knee. Its a good idea to get advice from your doctor or physiotherapist about specific exercises before you begin.
How Common Is Knee Replacement Surgery
The surgery is very common. Surgeons started doing it in the 1960s, with regular updates to techniques and implants along the way.
Almost 800,000 knee replacements currently get performed each year in the United States. The surgery is often done in older adults whose knees have worn down over time. But its also become popular in middle age, as people want to stay active.
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Where To Buy Lab Grade Products
There are a lot of extremely inferior products on the market. Still worse, many of the cheap herbal supplements found in Amazon.com and on the shelves of local drugstores are not inspected by third party regulators with FDA oversight. The majority are selling weakly concentrated ingredients, and there is growing concern that many products are testing in the danger zone for toxic chemicals and fillers.
Below are two companies that weve tested and found to produce lab grade turmeric and boswellia serrata. Their cost is higher due to the quality of ingredients and their strict self-imposed testing standards. Still, the cost is small compared to prices of pharmaceuticals.
Can Rehabilitation Be Done At Home
All patients are given a set of home exercises to do between supervised physical therapy sessions and the home exercises make up an important part of the recovery process. However, supervised therapy–which is best done in an outpatient physical therapy studio–is extremely helpful and those patients who are able to attend outpatient therapy are encouraged to do so.
For patients who are unable to attend outpatient physical therapy, home physical therapy is arranged.
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When Is It Time To Consider Surgery
Because osteoarthritis tends to get worse over time, you may get to the point where other treatments are no longer effective.
Your doctor will look at your joint on an X-ray, and when the test shows a substantial issue bone rubbing against bone it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery.
As you consider surgery, keep these questions in mind, Bryan says:
- Is the pain unbearable?
- Has your knee become unstable?
- Are your daily activities, such as walking, being affected?
- Is pain impacting your job, thereby threatening your livelihood?
- Is osteoarthritis causing problems with sleep?
Another factor is your age. People in their forties and fifties tend to be less satisfied with knee replacement surgery because they often want to be more active than knee implants allow, Bryan says.
After a recovery period, most people experience a return to all function, including going back to day-to-day activities without pain, Faucett says. However, running or jumping should be avoided when you have an implant, and it may be difficult to kneel after surgery, according to the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons.
For a younger person who has kids, this may be an issue, explains Bryan. But for someone who isn’t particularly active, being able to walk and climb stairs following surgery may be a valuable improvement.
As with any surgery, you’re likely to have some post-operative pain, as well as general risks of infection, blood clots, or pneumonia.
Reasons For The Procedure
Knee replacement surgery is a treatment for pain and disability in theknee. The most common condition that results in the need for kneereplacement surgery is osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown of joint cartilage.Damage to the cartilage and bones limits movement and may cause pain.People with severe degenerative joint disease may be unable to donormal activities that involve bending at the knee, such as walking orclimbing stairs, because they are painful. The knee may swell or”give-way” because the joint is not stable.
Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and arthritis thatresults from a knee injury, may also lead to degeneration of the kneejoint. In addition, fractures, torn cartilage, and/or torn ligaments maylead to irreversible damage to the knee joint.
If medical treatments are not satisfactory, knee replacement surgery may bean effective treatment. Some medical treatments for degenerative jointdisease may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Cortisone injections into the knee joint
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a knee replacementsurgery.
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It Will Slow Down Your Recovery Process
If your activity levels drop due to chronic pain or you find yourself wheelchair-bound as a result of osteoarthritis, the muscles in your legs may begin to deteriorate. Muscle mass already declines with age, so by further reducing your activity levels, you may experience compound effects that slow down your physical recovery. It could also make post-operative recovery procedures, like physical therapy, all the more challenging.
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Characteristics Of Severe Arthritis Of The Knee
Pain is the most noticeable symptom of knee arthritis. In most patients the knee pain gradually gets worse over time but sometimes has more sudden flares where the symptoms get acutely severe. The pain is almost always worsened by weight-bearing and activity. In some patients the knee pain becomes severe enough to limit even routine daily activities.
Morning stiffness is present in certain types of arthritis. Patients with morning stiffness of the knee may notice some improvement in knee flexibility over the course of the day. Rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience more frequent morning stiffness than patients with osteoarthritis.
Swelling and warmth
Patients with arthritis sometimes will notice swelling and warmth of the knee. If the swelling and warmth are excessive and are associated with severe pain, inability to bend the knee, and difficulty with weight-bearing, those signs might represent an infection. Such severe symptoms require immediate medical attention. Joint infection of the knee is discussed below.
The knee joint has three compartments that can be involved with arthritis . Most patients have both symptoms and findings on X-rays that suggest involvement of two or more of these compartments for example, pain on the lateral side and beneath the kneecap . Patients who have arthritis in two or all three compartments, and who decide to get surgery, most often will undergo total knee replacement .
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Injections For Knee Pain
Valaik says theres good science behind cortisone shots and other injections, such as hyaluronic acid injections, that lubricate the inner workings of the knee and help relieve arthritis pain.
According to Valaik, there is less evidence supporting the benefits of other injectable substances, including platelet-rich plasma and concentrated bone marrow or stem cells, but further studies will reveal more about their efficacy in treating knee arthritis.
Injections can provide temporary relief typically a few months which can help you stay on your feet and postpone surgery, he says.
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Pain After A Knee Replacement
When you bend, does your knee pop? Do you have arthritis pain that you cant seem to get rid of? Then youve most likely been referred to a knee surgeon and told that you need a knee replacement. After a knee replacement, the discomfort may become worse than it was before the surgery.
Pain following a knee replacement could be caused by the surgery itself, complications, or even a malfunctioning implant. Pain is the most common complication following knee surgery, and it can necessitate revision surgery.
If youve had a knee replacement and are being advised that surgery is your only choice for relieving chronic knee pain, go no further we are here to help.
At Integra Medical, we encourage you to explore different options for chronic knee pain and learn about the pain risks associated with knee replacement surgery.
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Undergoing Total Knee Replacement For Knee Arthritis
Experts estimate more than 7% of people in their 70s and 10% of people in their 80s have had a knee replacement.1 The surgery is done to alleviate pain caused by moderate to severe knee arthritis.
More than 90% of knee replacement surgeries are considered successful2 , meaning that after recovery patients have both:
- Less knee pain
- Improved knee function
While common, total knee replacement is a major surgery, and recovery requires several months of physical therapy. For these reasons, patients are asked to commit efforts to non-surgical treatments before considering knee replacement.
Treatment Options Before Knee Surgery
You cant cure osteoarthritis, but you can take steps to better manage it. That may mean losing weight and cutting back on high-impact activities that bother your knees. After all, every step you take puts three times your body weight on your knee, says William Bryan, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas and running puts five times your weight on your knees.
This doesnt mean that you should become inactive. Activities that are gentle on your knees such as swimming, using an elliptical trainer, and riding a bike can help you lose weight, which puts less strain on your joints, and strengthen the muscles around your knees. Stretching, yoga, and tai chi may ease stiffness. Using an ambulatory aid, such as a cane, is another option to take pressure off of your knee, Faucett says.
Taking these steps may help you manage osteoarthritis and delay surgery.
Physical therapy. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy to strengthen and stretch the muscles around your knee.
Oral medications. Over-the-counter or prescription anti-inflammatory drugs or supplements may be the first step in pain relief. But Dr. Bryan says they havent been very effective at treating osteoarthritis. In addition, anti-inflammatories have side effects such as stomach pain, heartburn, and liver damage.
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