10 Joint Replacement FAQs
Are you or your loved ones about to undergo joint replacement surgery and have questions about it? Then, here are ten questions that people frequently ask concerning various aspects like joint replacement surgery recovery, what happens in joint replacement surgery, the pain involved during and after the operation, etc.
- When do I require knee replacement surgery?
The need for knee replacement surgery is determined based on the person’s age, gender, knee condition, etc. But some common signs that may point at knee replacement include persistent or recurring pain, stiff or swollen knees, pain that affects sleep, difficulties walking or climbing stairs, etc. Doctors will decide whether to operate or not based on a thorough diagnosis through various tests.
- What tests will I have to undergo before undergoing knee replacement surgery?
The decision to operate will be made based on various tests and their results. Doctors will prescribe tests that include the following.
- Physical Examination: Involves evaluating the knee strength, motion, stability, and the leg’s overall alignment.
- Imaging Tests: X-rays and various other types of diagnostic imaging like MRI enable the surgeon to get a comprehensive view of the knee’s abnormality.
- Medical History Review: Includes understanding the patient’s general health and the degree of the pain, along with the knee’s functioning abilities.
- Other Tests and Assessments: The doctors will also prescribe blood tests to evaluate the condition of the bone and soft tissues of the knee.
- What happens during a knee replacement operation?
Knee replacement surgery takes around one to three hours, during which the surgeons provide general anesthesia and remove both ends of the joints, undergoing friction. These joints are replaced by artificial joints.
- Is knee replacement surgery painful?
No. Since patients are given general anesthesia, they don’t experience pain during surgery. But after surgery, patients may feel pain at the incision site. Doctors control the pain through pain-relieving medications until the patients recover fully.
- How long does it take to recover from knee replacement surgery?
The recovery time for a total knee replacement operation varies from patient to patient, depending on their age and overall health condition. But usually, patients stop using crutches and resume routine activities five to six weeks after surgery. However, it can take around three to four months for the pain and swelling to settle and about ten months to a year for the swelling to disappear.
- What exercises will I have to do after knee replacement surgery?
Doctors prescribe a range of exercises (rehabilitation) that includes knee strengthening exercises, regaining the range of motion, and developing the ability to walk independently with an assistive device. Recovery significantly depends on the patient’s regularity in exercising and their response to the overall treatment.
- For how many years will the artificial knee last?
Most knee replacements last for about 14-15 years. The average life of the artificial knee is around 18-20 years. But that will depend on the quality of the artificial knee chosen. If the patient undergoes knee replacement surgery after about 19-20 years, the operation is termed revision knee replacement surgery.
- How will I benefit from knee replacement surgery?
Knee replacement surgery offers benefits like considerably reduced knee pain during walking, running, sitting, and standing. Some other significant benefits include enhanced mobility and quicker return to normal activities. Furthermore, developing the ability to exercise can help manage diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis, etc.
- Can I avoid knee replacement surgery and opt for non-surgical procedures?
You must consult a doctor to know if knee replacement surgery is the only option or if you can treat the problem via non-surgical procedures. Doctors will make a decision based on a thorough assessment of your condition.
- When can I drive or indulge in sporting activities after the operation?
Again, the time required to return to normal activities will vary with the patient based on their age, health condition, and response to the treatment. But patients usually have to wait about six to seven weeks before they start driving. Similarly, resuming swimming, golfing, and other low-impact sporting activities can also take a few weeks.
Still, have questions specific to your case? Visit us at Ranka Hospital known as one of the best joint replacement hospital in Pune and get all your questions answered. Call +91 20 2426 1600 to book an appointment with our doctors.