Knee Replacement Surgery

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Many caregivers undergo knee replacement surgery to relieve severe pain in their knee joint.  In executing their duties they are often times required to lift and turn patients.  Constant wear and tear on their knee joint in addition to maintaining their body weight can contribute to severe pain from joint damage. Eventually they’ll begin to have problems walking, climbing stairs, and getting up and out of a sitting position or even at rest.  As their level of discomfort becomes more pronounced, they look for solution.  Starting out with the easy treatments are the best.

According to the Mayo Clinic Staff

http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-this-site/welcome

“Knee replacement surgery — also known as knee arthroplasty (ARTH-row-plas-tee) — can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. During knee replacement, a surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap and replaces it with an artificial joint made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers”.

An ailing knee can make life miserable for you. I’ve been around many caregivers that experienced excruciating knee pain before deciding to have a knee replacement. Even if your doctor recommends it be replaced, be sure to carefully weigh the risks and benefits before agreeing to this major surgery and understand that it will require significant rehabilitation to get back on your feet.

Harvard Medical School states the following:

”Most people will at some point have knee or hip pain because these large joints have a demanding task: they must bear the full weight of your body while at the same time allowing for a wide range of motion. Wear and tear, injury, and simple genetic predisposition can all contribute to knee or hip pain. This report covers a wide range of knee and hip conditions and describes in detail treatments, preventive strategies, and surgeries.

The most important factor in choosing to have a knee or hip replaced is how much it hurts and how much it is affecting your life. Here are six signals that it’s time to have a knee or hip replaced:

  1. You can no longer complete routine daily tasks without help.
  2. You have significant pain, like pain that keeps you awake at night despite the use of medications, pain that keeps you from being able to walk or bend over, pain that isn’t relieved by rest, or pain that isn’t helped by non-surgical approaches.
  3. Your doctor says that less-complicated surgical procedures are unlikely to help.
  4. You have osteoarthritis and feel the disease is wearing you down physically, emotionally, and mentally.
  5. You are suffering severe side effects from the medications for your painful knee or hip.
  6. Tests show advanced arthritis or significant joint damage.

Finding the right surgeon and hospital can make a big difference to the success of your operation. In general, you’re likely to have a better result and fewer complications if your surgeon performs the operation at least 100 times a year and operates in a hospital where replacements are routinely done.

If it’s clear that joint replacement is a good choice, the questions below can help you decide whether a particular surgeon is right for you:

  • Are you board-certified in orthopaedic surgery?
  • Are you fellowship trained?
  • How often do you perform this surgery?
  • What kind of results would you expect for someone in my condition?
  • May I speak with any of your patients who have had this surgery?
  • What complications occur most frequently, and how do you deal with them?
  • Do you usually work with a particular physical therapist or rehabilitation centre?

If you’re experiencing knee or hip pain, you’re not alone. Nearly everyone will experience knee or hip pain at some point in their lives. When this kind of pain strikes, doctors are likely to recommend the least invasive treatment to alleviate pain and encourage healing.

Along with applying ice or heat and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and inflammation, exercise is one of the best things you can do for a sore or injured joint. If you like to exercise regularly but need to give your hip or knee a rest while an injury heals, here are some exercises you can do in the meantime. You can combine these exercises to create a routine lasting 30 minutes or longer:

  • floor exercises, including abdominal curls, crunches, push-ups, or leg lifts
  • exercises that target the upper body, including repeated lifting of hand weights in different directions
  • gentle yoga
  • swimming
  • routines involving an exercise ball, including stretches, abdominal curls, or leg lifts”.

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