Limitations to Knee Replacement Surgery

Not everyone who needs knee replacement surgery can get one. Sometimes your health condition or state of the adjacent joints can make it impossible for you to get this surgery. Doctors only recommend a knee replacement surgery if the outcome is positive. If it will not alleviate your pain or ease your movement, it will be considered unnecessary. The doctors may also opt not to perform the surgery if the risks are high. For example, if you have deep or open sores in the skin surrounding your knees, the chances of infections are high.

In the following article, Samuel Greengard discusses total knee replacement in detail, including whether it is a good idea to have a bilateral knee replacement.

Pros and Cons of Bilateral Knee Replacement Surgery

When you have a knee injury or arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis, the damage, inflammation, and pain can limit your ability to flex and extend your knees. Over time, the deterioration of your joint and surrounding tissue can make it difficult to perform basic daily activities, even sitting and lying down.

Knee replacement surgery is a common solution for people whose knees have become too worn from this deterioration. Knee replacement provides dramatic pain relief for more than 90 percent of those who’ve undergone this surgery. Most of these procedures are done to replace knees damaged by osteoarthritis. The procedure was introduced in 1968. Total knee replacement is considered one of the safest and most effective procedures in orthopedics. Read more here

If both your knees are damaged, is it best for the replacement to be done on one knee at a time or can you have both worked on at the same time? Bilateral knee replacement is a possibility and is sometimes recommended because you get to have the surgery performed once. This essentially means you don’t need to worry about scheduling another surgery and recovery period for the other knee. However, you won’t heal at the same pace you would have had you had surgery on one knee. You will also need more help moving around if you replace both your knee joints.

In the following article, the writer discusses ways to prepare your knee for the replacement surgery.

How to Prepare Your Knee for the Replacement Surgery

You’ll only need a knee replacement if your knee gives you pain, stiffness, instability or loss of function that affects your daily life and activities. In a healthy knee, the ends of your thigh and shin bones are covered with hard cartilage which allows the bones to move easily against each other. Arthritis damages the hard cartilage so that it becomes thin. In places the cartilage may wear away so that your bones rub against each other and become worn.

In a knee replacement operation, the worn ends of the bones and any remaining hard cartilage are removed and replaced with metal and plastic parts. The plastic acts like hard cartilage, helping your joint to move freely. The interlocking parts of the artificial joint… Read more here

Before any surgery, the state of your health is paramount. The doctor will want to know if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or any other disease that requires you to take medication regularly. You may also need to see your dentist before the operation. This is primarily because of the increased risk of infection, and a dental bacterial infection can find its way into your bloodstream. You may also need to exercise your thigh muscles because they tend to become weak with arthritis. 

In the following article, Kiley Urban discusses various questions that patients have regarding knee replacement surgery.

Can High Impact Activities Affect the Knee after the Replacement Surgery?

When cartilage inside the knee joint starts to break down, a person may begin to experience pain. “If you were to look inside a healthy knee joint you’d see a thick cushioning of cartilage that covers and protects the ends of your bones, as well as another type of cartilage, called the meniscus, that acts like a shock absorber between the bones,” says Andrew Urquhart, M.D., a professor of orthopedic surgery at Michigan Medicine’s Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Center. Read more here

About 85% of patients regain their normal knee function weeks after the surgery. However, high impact activities, such as playing basketball or running, are discouraged. This is because of the possibility of having a severe injury. Instead, light recreation activities, such as playing golf, hiking, walking, and biking, are encouraged.