These days, arthroplasty or knee replacement surgery is very common. The surgical procedure replaces the knees damaged by arthritis. Elements made of plastic and metal are used to cap the end of the bones that form the joint at the knee. Orthopedic experts in Kolkata confirm that apart from arthritis patients, the surgery is also performed on individuals suffering from a severe injury in the knee.
There are different types of arthritis that can affect your knee joint. Some of these include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Causes inflammation in the synovial membrane, which leads to an increased level of synovial fluid. This fluid causes pain and stiffness in the knee joint.
- Osteoarthritis: A top-notch orthopedic surgeon in Kolkata identifies this as a degenerative joint disease, which breaks down the joint cartilage and the surrounding bones in the knee. It affects mostly middle-aged and older people.
- Traumatic arthritis: This causes due to injury, which damages the knee cartilage.
Knee replacement surgeries have a common goal to resurface the parts of the damaged knee joint and to provide relief from knee pain.
Before we proceed further to discuss knee replacement surgery, it’s important to have a look at the anatomy of the knee.
The knee anatomy
The knee is the part of the body, which holds the two long bones in the leg together by ligaments, muscles and tendons. Each bone is covered by a cartilage layer, which absorbs all shocks to protect the knee.
- On the other hand, the knee is formed of two different types of muscles, the quadriceps muscle (on the front of the thigh, which straightens the leg) and the hamstring muscle (at the back of the thigh, which allows bending the leg at the knee).
- Tendons are cords of connective tissue, which connect the muscles to the bones.
- The ligament connects bone to bone and is somewhat like an elastic band of tissue. Some ligaments of the knee ensure stability and protection of the joints, whereas the rest limit the forward and the backward movement of the shin bone or the tibia.
The knee is composed of the following parts:
- Tibia – it is the shin bone or the larger bone in the lower part of the leg.
- Femur – it is the thighbone or the upper leg bone.
- Patella – it is the kneecap.
- Cartilage – a special type of tissue that covers the bone joint surface and absorbs shocks to reduce friction in the joint.
- Synovial membrane – it is the tissue that lines the joint and threads it in into a joint capsule. It also secretes the synovial fluid to keep the joint lubricated.
- Ligament – it is connective tissue, hardy, and tough in nature to support the joint and limit its movement.
- Tendon – this is yet another type of connective tissue that connects the muscles to bones and controls joint movement.
- Meniscus – it is the curved portion of the knee cartilage and acts as a shock absorber.
More about the surgical treatment
Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals is a reliable and reputed destination for knee replacement treatment. Experts associated with this renowned hospital say knee replacement is the best way known to date to resolve the pain and disability of the knee. The commonest condition for this treatment is osteoarthritis. The disease results from the breakdown of the cartilage at the knee joint. Patients suffering from severe degenerative joint diseases are not only unable to bend the knee but are also incapable to walk or climb stairs.
Apart from arthritis cases, fractures, torn cartilage, and torn ligaments can lead you to knee replacement treatment. However, this replacement surgery is the last option. Doctors usually try out other alternative procedures to resolve the problem. These procedures include anti-inflammatory medicines, pain medication, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, cortisone injections in the knee joint, Viscosupplementation injections to lubricate the joint area, and many more. Patients are also asked to limit their physical activity and in cases of obesity, they are asked to reduce weight. Using support like a cane helps to minimize the discomfort while walking. In certain cases, even physical therapy is recommended.
Knee replacement surgery, just like any other surgical procedure, has some risk factors. Complications may develop at any time. These complications aren’t just limited to blood clots, bleeding, infection, fracture, and continued pain and stiffness. The replacement knee joint may come loose or get dislodged. It also may not work as expected. Above everything else, it may have to be replaced at some point in time in the future. Orthopedic surgeons even don’t rule out the possibility of injury for the surrounding nerves and blood vessels. In several cases, the pain remains at its place even after the surgery.
You’ve to consider all the facts and probabilities about knee replacement before undergoing surgical treatment. Post-surgical care is crucial in these cases to facilitate complete recovery.