Knee pain and arthritis and stiffness is treated with a variety of methods. This includes medications, physical therapy and exercises, weight loss methods and surgery to replace the worn out cushions between the joint spaces.
It is when all other medications and therapies fail that patient may consider a Total Knee Replacement or TKR. This involves replacement of the worn out joint with artificial prosthetic joint.
This operation is usually performed under general anesthesia wherein patient will be rendered unconscious during the operative procedure. This operation can also be done under spinal or epidural anesthesia. A cuff like tourniquet is placed on the thighs just before the incision. When inflated this aids in reducing the blood flow to the operative site and reduces the risk of bleeding.
There are basically two approaches to a TKR :
Procedure of classical approach to TKR:
Procedure of minimally invasive TKR surgery:
TKR is a very successful surgery and with proper accompanying physical therapy it can provide much relief. This mimics the original joint and allows a free movement of the joint. Benefits of this operation are remarkable in terms of freedom from pain, improved range of movement of the knees, improved sleep and better quality of living.
Since, there is no movement, won’t it have high risk of clotting after the operation?
Early mobilization not only prevents formations of blood clots but also rapid recovery. Blood thinning medications are also prescribed if patients are prone to develop blood clots and these may be continued even after the discharge.
On discharge patient may need crutches, walker or a cane to walk. After around six to eight weeks they will be able to walk with minimal assistance.
Total Hip Replacement (THR) is necessary when none of the other methods to correct a damaged hip is effective. In this operation the surgeon replaces the ball and the socket with metallic replacements and the cartilage with artificial joint material.