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If you have a painful and stiff knee and you cannot perform even the simplest of activities, and you have tried other treatments, but they don’t seem to work, then your doctor may consider a knee replacement surgery. Mostly people who are above 50 years and have severe osteoarthritis have to undergo this surgery.
You will first be given a general anesthesia which will put you to sleep temporarily, or you will be given a spinal or epidural anesthesia where you will feel numb below the waist. Then an 8 to 12 inch cut will be made in front of the knee. The part of the joint which is damaged will then be removed from the surface of the bones, and the surfaces will be shaped so that it can hold a plastic or a metal artificial joint. The artificial joint is then attached to the thigh bone, knee cap and shin. A special material or cement is used for this. When fixed together, the attached artificial parts form the joint. Ligaments and the surrounding muscles provide support and function to this joint.
Minimally invasive surgery has brought about a lot of developments in knee replacement surgery and other fields of medicine. The key characteristics of minimally invasive surgery are that it makes use of specialized techniques and instruments to allow the surgeon to perform a major surgery without making a large incision.
A small incision of 3 to 5 inches is required in the minimally invasive knee joint replacement as compared to the standard approach and incision. Less tissue is damaged in the smaller, less invasive approach, and this allows the surgeon to work between the fibers of the quadriceps muscles instead of making an incision through the tendon. So this will lead to less pain, faster recovery, and better motion because of less formation of the scar tissue.
You will have to stay in the hospital after your knee replacement surgery for around three to five days on an average. The people who go in for a knee joint replacement surgery have a lot of improvement. This improvement takes place in one month’s time of the surgery. The pain which is caused by the damaged joint becomes less after the construction of the new gliding surface.
After undergoing the knee joint replacement surgery, many people stand and move a day after the surgery. Initially, you may have to walk using parallel bars, and then you may have to use a walking device such as a walker, crutches or a crane. You will have to use these devices till your full body weight can be supported by the knee. After six weeks, many people work comfortable without any assistance. Your muscle strength will have to be restored with physical therapy, and then you can enjoy most of the activities except jumping and running.