Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Total knee replacement (TKR) involves shaving off the bones forming the knee joint- namely femur (thigh bone), tibia (shin bone) and patella (knee cap), and replacing them with artificial components, made of a special metal alloy (cobalt-chrome, titanium or oxinium), with a plastic insert between them. These components are accurately matched to the size of the patient’s own bones, and are placed in a very careful manner, so as to maintain normal alignment of the limb. The components are usually fixed with special ‘cement’ to the bones. This gives a painless, smooth surface to the joints, and the patient can get back to his active life within a month. This ‘artificial’ joint usually serves the patient for 20 to 30 years, commonly lasting his or her lifetime. Then, if need arises, the plastic insert can be replaced with a newer one by a simple surgery, or in some cases, all the components are taken out, and fresh components are put, in a revision Total knee replacement.
The knee is a complex joint that consists of three bones:
How to Prepare for Total Knee Replacement Surgery
Before the total knee replacement surgery, the joints that are adjacent to the diseased knee – ankle and hip – have to be carefully evaluated. This done to ensure that the patient will have optimal recovery after the surgery. Having a severely damaged joint adjacent to the knee joint that being replaced may hinder the results of the surgery and make the nearby joint more painful if it is abnormal.
If the patient is taking any medications they will be reviewed and he/she will be asked to avoid taking blood thinning and anti-inflammatory medication or the intake can be adjusted.
Routine blood and urine tests will be performed to check the function of the liver and kidneys. EKG and Chest x-ray are also performed to exclude significant lung and heart disease.
It is also important that before you go in for the surgery that you arrange for someone who will help you around the house for a week or two after the surgery. Your physician may request other specific arrangements based on your medical condition.
Total knee replacement surgery is done under either general anesthesia in which the patient will be unconscious or spinal anesthesia in which the patient will be awake but will not feel pain from the waist down.
Intravenous antibiotic will be administered before, during, and after the procedure to help prevent post-surgical infection.
The surgery begins by the surgeon making an incision into the tissue to access the kneecap (patella) and quadriceps muscles which are located on top of the upper leg. The quadriceps are then moved to reveal the femur and tibia. The damage on the bones are cut off, smoothed, and the implant is installed. The incisions are repaired after the installation.
Minimally Invasive Knee Surgery Techniques
There are several technique options that your surgeon might use during the total knee replacement surgery. The most appropriate approach will be used for your condition. At Dr. Vinay is expert in the most minimally invasive muscle-sparring approaches. With these techniques there is no cutting of muscles and tendons ensuring optimal and quick recovery, with minimal pain.
Knee Replacement Surgery
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