Are knee replacements permanent?
Knee replacement surgery, which is also known as knee arthroplasty, is a procedure done to replace the damaged parts of a knee with those made artificially. The replacement parts are usually made of materials such as superior grade plastic or alloys of metal. It is a common procedure undergone to improve the knee function of the affected person and also to get pain relief.
You may consider having a knee replacement surgery if:
- Your knee is in pain most of the time and the medicines you are taking for pain relief are not helping you.
- Physiotherapy done for pain relief and improving knee function are not providing relief.
- You find it difficult and painful to do simple activities like sitting and getting up, climbing the staircase, or walking.
- There is swelling in the knees.
- You are unable to rest or sleep because the constant pain is troubling you.
If you are experiencing any of the above, visit the best orthopedic specialist in Delhi, who will diagnose whether you have any conditions like rheumatism or osteoarthritis and then assess whether you will benefit by a knee replacement. He will also carefully make a note of any pre-existing diseases you may have like diabetes and see whether you are fit enough to undergo a knee replacement. He will discuss with you the possible risks of the surgery and the precautions needed to be undertaken before it. He will then ask you to take the necessary tests like blood tests and x-rays.
After a knee replacement surgery:
After discharge from the hospital, you can undertake the services of a physiotherapist who will guide you through a rehabilitation program. For the first three weeks, you can walk by using devices such as a walker or cane while continuing to take pain relief medication. Then with the therapist’s guidance, you will be gradually able to increase your range of motions and will find an increase in the strength of your knees. By around 6 to 12 weeks after surgery, you will able to do all the normal range of activities required by you in a day.
Are knee replacements permanent?
Knee replacements are not permanent as the components which are used to make the replacements such as plastic or metal are subject to wear and tear. How long they will last cannot be exactly predicted but in general, they are supposed to last long like a couple of decades. There have been cases where they have lasted for 20 years and also cases where a repeat surgery has been needed within a couple of years. But generally artificial knees are known to last at least a minimum of 5 years.
How long a knee replacement will last depends on many conditions. Let us brief you some of them:
- If you are overweight there may be too much stress on the new implant and as a result, it may get worn out earlier. So it is necessary to maintain an ideal weight by doing suitable exercises that will not cause strain to the replacement.
- It is necessary to avoid those activities that may cause strain to the prosthetic knee. The doctor’s instructions should be followed and such activities that may negatively impact the knee must be avoided.
- A person undergoing a knee replacement at less than 60 years of age may need a second surgery in his lifetime. Being younger he will be more physically active and may cause the implant to get worn out earlier.
- A person with a pre-existing health condition like osteoporosis should take proper treatments as any damage to the bones surrounding the transplanted knee could adversely affect the implant.
- If the person with a knee transplant undergoes some other medical procedure care has to be taken by the doctor to see that the implant is not affected in any way by complications like bacterial infections.
The success rate of a knee replacement surgery in Delhi is considered to be more than 90 percent and chances of complications are usually low. Most of the patients will be able to lead normal active lives within a few weeks after the surgery if they take sufficient care to follow the doctor’s instructions.