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All about Knee replacement surgery-unilateral

  • Posted on- Jan 05, 2018
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Total knee replacement is a surgical procedure in which parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial parts. The surgery is done by separating the muscles and ligaments around the knee to expose the inside of the joint. The ends of the thigh bone (femur) and the shin bone (tibia) are removed as is often the underside of the kneecap (patella). The artificial parts are then cemented into place.

As time passes, due to advancing age or injury, the knees lose their flexibility. As a result, it becomes painful for people to bend their knees due to accompanying inflammation and pain. The mobility becomes further restricted and the pain increases when the cartilage between the two knees wears out with age.

The bad condition of the knee joint and the surrounding cartilage make it difficult for people to move, thus hindering their performance in conducting daily activities. If nothing is done to purify the condition, the situation only worsens, becoming more painful and difficult.

In such cases, surgery is often recommended as the first line of treatment, most commonly after there is no relief from pain, medications, and physiotherapy. It is estimated that more than 90 percent of the patients benefit from the procedure.

What is the procedure of knee replacement surgery unilateral?

Knee replacement unilateral requires a stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your doctor's practices.

Knee replacement unilateral surgery is most often performed while you are asleep under general anesthesia. Your anesthesiologist will discuss this with you in advance.

Generally, knee replacement unilateral surgery follows this process:

  1. You will be asked to remove clothing and will be given a gown to wear.
  2. An intravenous (IV) line may be started in your arm or hand.
  3. You will be positioned on the operating table.
  4. A urinary catheter may be inserted.
  5. If there is excessive hair at the surgical site, it may be clipped off.
  6. The anesthesiologist will continuously monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and blood oxygen level during the surgery.
  7. The skin over the surgical site will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
  8. The doctor will make an incision in the knee area.
  9. The doctor will remove the damaged surfaces of the knee joint and resurface the knee joint with the prosthesis. The knee prosthesis is made up of metal and plastic. Most similar type of artificial knee prosthesis is a cemented prosthesis. Uncemented prostheses are not commonly used anymore. Surgical cement attaches the bone with the cemented prosthesis. An uncemented prosthesis attaches to the bone with a porous surface onto which the bone grows to attach to the prosthesis. In some cases, the combination of 2 types is used to replace the knees. The prosthesis is generally comprised of 3 components: the tibial component (to resurface the top of the tibia or shin bone) the femoral thigh bone component (to resurface the end of the thighbone and the patellar component (to resurface the bottom of the kneecap that rubs against the thighbone).
  10. The incision will be closed with stitches or surgical staples.
  11. A drain may be placed in the incision site to remove fluid.
  12. A sterile bandage or dressing will be applied.

What happens before the knee replacement surgery unilateral?

  1. Your doctor will explain the procedure to you and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
  2. 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.
  3. In addition to a complete medical history, your doctor may perform a complete physical examination to ensure you are in good health before undergoing the procedure. The blood test or any other diagnostics process can be prescribed by your doctor.
  4. Notify your doctor if you are sensitive or are allergic to any medications, latex, tape, and anesthetic agents (local and general).
  5. Notify your doctor of all medications (prescribed and over-the-counter) and herbal supplements that you are taking.
  6. Notify your doctor if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications, aspirin, or other medications that affect blood clotting. For procedure, you can be asked to stop all the medications.
  7. If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, you should notify your doctor.
  8. You will be asked to fast for eight hours before the procedure, generally after midnight.
  9. A sedative prior can be given to you before the procedure for relaxation.
  10. You may meet with a physical therapist prior to your surgery to discuss rehabilitation.
  11. Arrange someone to help around the house for a week or two after you are discharged from the hospital.
  12. Based on your medical condition, your doctor may request other specific preparation.

What are the complications related to knee replacement surgery unilateral?

Knee replacement unilateral surgery is considered as a safe procedure. Only a fraction of patients experiences complications after knee replacement. One of the most common surgical complications is the occurrence of an infection post-surgery. However, so far it has affected only 2 % of the patients. Other complications may include blood clots, damage to the blood vessels and surrounding tissue, recurring pain, and rejection of the implant or a defect in it.

What is the recovery of knee replacement surgery unilateral?

Despite hospitals and surgeons claiming that an osteoarthritis patient is able to walk normally within a week of operation, it may take several weeks for the patients to recover from the surgery.

Soon after total knee replacement unilateral, patients are advised to undergo a combination of physical and occupational therapy at the hospital itself. The therapy may continue for days after the patient is discharged from the hospital. Typically, a total knee replacement unilateral patient is required to stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days after the surgery.

The patients start to walk or stand, with the help of a walker or without support, when they leave the hospital. The rehabilitation and recovery continue for at least two months after the surgery. Along with occupational and physical therapy, some set of exercises is often recommended to be performed at home for quick recovery.

By the end of eight weeks, the patients are expected to stand and walk properly without any support and resume doing household work. However, recovery could be slow in some patients. Patients are often asked to avoid squatting and complete bending of the knee.

Bilateral knee replacement surgery minimum cost for Rs. 2,50,000 to maximum Rs. 5,00,000.

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