Knee arthroplasty is a difficult operation to replace the femur and tibia. The operation returns the mobility of the leg and helps patients to return to the previous full life.
What you will find in this article:
Indications and contraindications for surgery
The doctor prescribes surgery in cases where other therapeutic methods do not give the desired results.
Indications for knee arthroplasty:
- Pronounced pain syndrome
- Loss of movement ability of the leg (it is impossible to bend and flex the leg)
- Muscle weakness
There are also contraindications, in the presence of which the operation cannot be performed:
- Hematopoietic diseases
- Purulent infections
- Heart Disease
- Mental disorders
- Cancer diseases (stage 3-4)
- Renal failure
- Undeveloped skeleton
Surgeons perform two types of prosthetics: partial and total.
How is the operation?
Before surgery, many patients want to know how they do arthroplasty. Most operations are performed in the morning. During the operation of the surgeon, the patient is under general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia. The operation to replace the knee joint takes about 2-3 hours.
The essence of the operation is to remove worn articular surfaces of the bones and install special components made of polyethylene and metal. In case of total endoprosthetics, the knee joint is completely replaced with a prosthesis, which is fixed with the help of bone cement (polymethyl methacrylate) or fixed mechanically.
The endoprosthesis is constructed from an artificial hip and tibial component of the joint, a metal plate and a polyethylene liner. Before final installation, the surgeon “tries on” a trial prosthesis.
After fixing the endoprosthesis, the doctor stitches in several layers on the wound and installs drainage. A bandage and a tire are applied to the foot.
A slight swelling around the operated area is allowed; he will fall down in a few days. Eliminate puffiness will help cushion under the foot roller.
Rehabilitation after arthroplasty
Modern endoprostheses can last 15-20 years. After wear, it is possible to change it to a new one. Thanks to the prosthesis, a person gets rid of pain and returns to a rolling lifestyle.
However, after the operation, the correct rehabilitation period is extremely important in order to get used to the prosthesis and learn to live with it without pain.
What to do after knee replacement?
On average, recovery after installing the prosthesis takes 3 months. This period may vary, based on the age of the patient and his individual characteristics.
After successful surgery, the patient may be allowed to sit down after only a few hours. But you can only lower your legs from the bed and get up after a day.
In order to avoid the formation of a blood clot, the patient should wear compression stockings or use elastic bandages.
After surgery, when you first get out of bed, you should remember the important rules:
- Getting up, you should start with a healthy leg, and the prosthetic leg should be pulled forward, but not bent.
- Lean also on a healthy leg and crutches. There should be someone nearby who can help, if necessary.
- It is important to stand on a flat and dry surface, in order to avoid falling and injury.
- With the operated leg, you can only easily touch the floor in the first days of walking. Trying to lean on the foot should be gradually and under the supervision of doctors.
As a rule, patients begin to take the first steps after endoprosthetics with crutches, then replace them with walkers, and near the end of rehabilitation they use the walking stick for walking.
A few days after the operation, the patient is allowed to go home, but the rehabilitation course continues. It is important to follow all the prescriptions of the doctor, do exercises for developing the legs, and also complete a course of exercise therapy.
Exercises after knee replacement
How to develop a knee joint?
Easy charging for the knee should be an integral part of rehabilitation. In the first month, each exercise should be repeated ten times.
The development of the knee should be done daily.
- Flexion and extension of the ankle joints.
- Lying down, you need to bend a healthy leg at the knee, and lift the operated leg upwards, hold it for 10 seconds and slowly lower it onto the bed. A roller is placed under the painful leg.
- Lying down you need to tighten your sore leg as close as possible to the buttocks, “slipping” your heels on the bed. A healthy leg remains lying unbent.
- Lying to bend both legs at the knees and alternately lift only the socks, without lifting the heels.
In the third month of rehabilitation, complete freedom of movement is permitted.
Such activities will be useful as:
- Yoga class
- Exercise bike
Running, jumping, skiing is better to exclude until complete recovery.
To extend the “life” of a new prosthesis, it cannot be overloaded - it is impossible to lift and carry weights, you should avoid overweight. An artificial joint is easily given to infections, so you should look after your health and start treatment on time.
In the event of pain, discharge from the wound, you should immediately consult a doctor.
Failure to follow the recommendations of the doctor may lead to the following complications:
- inflammatory process
- blood clots
- dislocation of the prosthesis
- endoprosthesis offset
- limited prosthesis mobility
- bone fracture in the area where the prosthesis is installed
The feedback from many patients suggests that the operation is generally well tolerated, the pain disappears quickly, and getting used to the new “joint” comes after two weeks.
Elderly people sometimes feel numbness of the limbs, decreased sensitivity in the leg, and coldness in the area of the foot and lower leg. Such symptoms are associated with local circulatory disorders. Therapeutic massage will quickly eliminate discomfort.
In knee arthroplasty, not only the professional work of the surgeon and the quality prosthesis is important. The rehabilitation period is a significant stage on the road to recovery.