Surgeons and manufacturers have made remarkable advances in joint replacement technology over the last few years. The materials are long lasting and durable. The surgical methods have been fine-tuned and standardized. As a result, the chances for a successful outcome are excellent.
The components of your New Joint
In Total Knee Replacement (also known as Total Knee Arthroplasty, or TKA), the joint’s bone - end surfaces are resurfaced with man-made materials. In Total Knee Arthroplasty, the implant (prosthesis) design may vary according to your needs, but the most common implant consists of three component parts. The patella, or kneecap, is made of high-density polyethylene, which offers tremendous strength and durability. The femoral section, or thigh bone, is metal, while the tibia, or shin bone, is made of high density polyethylene and may be supported by a metal tray.
Benefits of Knee Joint Replacement
Once your new joint has completely healed, you will reap the benefits of the surgery. These include :
- Reduced joint pain (maybe no pain!)
- Increased movement and mobility
- Correction of deformity
- Increased leg strength (if you exercise)
- Improved quality of Life ability to return to normal activities and pastimes
Most likely, running, jumping, or other high – impact activities will be discouraged.
Risks of Knee Joint Replacement Surgery
As with any major surgery, there are potential risks involved. It is important that you are informed of these risks before the surgery takes place.
Because a bacterial infection from your mouth could infect your new joint, you will be asked to complete all dental work before surgery. Consult your physician before scheduling any post – operative dental work.
You could develop blood clots. Many TKA surgeons prescribe anticoagulation medications after surgery. You may also need to wear elastic stockings for several weeks to minimize the risk of blood clots forming and to prevent emboli.
Pneumonia can sometimes develop in patients who are lying in bed right after surgery. Getting out of bed soon after surgery is encouraged.