Everything You Need to Know About Knee Replacement

Many types of knee pain respond well to conservative treatments such as self-care measures and physical therapy. However, in some cases, knee pain can be chronic, affecting your productivity and overall life quality. If you have had knee pain for a while, you may be happy to know that Prairie Garden Medical’s multi speciality medical practice Oklahoma City offers knee replacement surgery to help ease pain and improve function.

Knee replacement is a common operation that replaces a damaged, diseased, or worn-out knee joint. Most knee joints are carried out on adults between ages 60 and 80, but adults of any age can be considered for this procedure.

When would I need knee surgery?

Knee replacement surgery may be an option if your knee joint is worn or damaged, such that it reduces your mobility, and you experience pain even when at rest. The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is to alleviate pain and reduced function caused by osteoarthritis. You may also require surgery due to other conditions that damage your knee. They include:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Gout
  • Hemophilia
  • Blood supply problems resulting in the death of bone in the knee joint
  • Knee injury
  • Knee deformity with loss of cartilage and pain

Types of knee replacement surgery

The two types of knee replacement surgery are total and partial or half knee replacement. If the damage or disease affects only one part of the knee, the surgeon replaces that part only. However, if the entire joint needs replacement, the surgeon reshapes the end of the thighbone and shinbone and resurfaces the whole joint. The shinbone and thighbone are hard tubes with a soft center where the artificial parts’ ends are inserted.

If your knee ligaments are not strong enough to hold the joint together, the surgeon may place implants so the joints won’t break apart.

What are the possible risks of knee replacement surgery?

Like any other operation, knee replacement surgery carries a few risks that include:

  • Nerve damage. During implant placement, nerves in that area can be injured, causing pain, weakness, and numbness.
  • Blood clots. Blood clots can form in the leg, but in some cases, they may travel to the lungs and become life-threatening. Usually, surgeons recommend blood-thinning medications to reduce this risk.
  • Infection. An infection can occur at the surgical site or in the deeper tissue and may sometimes require surgery to treat.

Alternatives to knee replacement

There are other surgeries you can have in place of a knee replacement. However, the results are often not as good in the long term. Your specialist will recommend the best procedure for you based on factors like age and the damage’s severity. Alternatives to knee replacement surgery include:

  • Arthroscopic washout and debridement. Your surgeon inserts a tiny telescope called an arthroscope into your knee. The surgeon carefully pumps in saline water to clear any bits of bone or cartilage.
  • Mosaicplasty. This keyhole operation involves transferring plugs of hard cartilage with bone from another part of your knee to repair the damaged surface.
  • Osteotomy. The surgeon shifts the weight off the damaged part of the knee by cutting the shinbone and realigning it.

Do you have debilitating knee pain? Consult your provider at Prairie Garden Medical to know if knee replacement surgery is a good option for you. 

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