Suffering from a knee injury or advanced arthritis in the knee makes it hard for one to perform even simple activities like walking. Some still feel pain and discomfort even when lying down or sitting. In some cases, using walking supports and taking medications may be helpful. However, some consider total knee replacement as a viable option to correct the deformity and relieve the pain, among others.
Impact of Arthritis After ACL Reconstruction
According to a new study, people who have undergone reconstructive surgery such as total knee replacement have high chance of developing wear-and-tear arthritis, three times more in the injured knee than in the injured one (as published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, 57 percent of patients who had ACL-reconstructed knees).
The risk of advanced arthritis in knee following successful ACL knee ligament reconstruction is greatly increased (50 percent greater) over the uninjured population. When a patient undergoes Total Knee Replacement (TKR) surgery in this setting it is not just a routine surgery.
TKR operative time is significantly longer and the risk of reoperation due to various causes (infection, stiffness, instability) is 5 times higher than the control group.
Total Knee Replacement Precautions
There are several precautions that the patient must undertake in order to achieve a safer and more successful total knee replacement. This includes several evaluations, tests and planning.
- Medical Evaluation
Physical examination for medical evaluation may be necessary weeks prior the scheduled operation. This is a precaution to make sure that you are in good health and shape to undergo the surgery successfully. The safety of the patient is of paramount importance.
There are several tests that you may need to take as part of the plan of your surgery. Usually, the tests include electrocardiogram and taking urine and blood samples. In line with this, people with a history of urinary infections need to undergo urological evaluations before the surgery. The required treatments must be completed first before undertaking total knee replacement surgery.
The surgeon needs to know what medications you are taking for your advanced arthritis in knee or any condition for that matter. This is important as there are certain medications that you need to refrain from taking before the surgery.
- Social Planning
You need to plan ahead, especially for period immediately after the surgery. You need someone to assist in you in things during the recovery period. Aside from the fact that you will need crutches or walker after the surgery, you also need to have a company to help you with your daily activities. If you live alone, you can plan that ahead so you can arrange with someone or a professional to be with you until you have fully recovered.
Assessing the Appropriateness of Total Knee Replacement Surgery
You must remember that having a total knee replacement surgery for advanced arthritis in knee or injury takes more than just yourself. You must also cooperate with your surgeon, your physician and your family. You need to be fully assessed to determine if you really need to undergo surgery and what will you benefit from it.
The following are the most common instances when patients are recommended to undergo knee replacement surgery:
- Knee deformity.
- Moderate and severe knee pain.
- Chronic knee inflammation and/or swelling which do not improve even when you have been taking medications.
- Severe knee pain or stiffness that makes it hard for you to walk and do everyday activities.
- Common treatments like injections, therapies and medications have not proved to be beneficial to your condition.
The recommendations for the surgery are based on the patient’s disability and pain. Age is not a factor, as there are no age or even weight restrictions before the surgery can be performed. However, most patients that undergo such procedure age from 50 to 80. This is because these are the ages when arthritis is common. Overall, with proper precaution and evaluation, total knee surgery may prove to be successful, regardless of the patient’s age.
If you have advanced arthritis in knee or injury and if you are looking for effective treatments with high chance of success, make an appointment with us today. We have extensive experience treating knee conditions and can help you find the right solution for you.