Busting Myths on Total Knee Arthroplasty

Even in 2018, there is a lot of misconception around Total Knee Arthroplasty and about when you actually need it. If you are having severe joint pain which is unresponsive to activity modification and over the counter medicine, then you must seek evaluation by an orthopaedic surgeon. Chronic pain can negatively impact your daily life. If you feel that knee pain is meddling with your lifestyle, then immediately see a specialist. Medication and physiotherapy should always be explored before joint replacement is considered. And if joint replacement is required, then it is the best long-term solution available to restore your mobility.

During the knee replacement operation, the surgeon removes bone surfaces from the ends of the thigh-bone (Femur), shin bone (Tibia) and knee cap (Patella). These are then replaced with an artificial surface which is made of steel alloy and high-grade plastic. The latest innovation implants are now completely customized which is done by computer topography. Your surgeon will help you to choose the right implant after a thorough assessment.  Using innovative technology customized geometric shape is cut so that the implant can be fixed perfectly using bone cement. To avoid friction usually washer type plastic is put in-between.

Age is certainly not a limiting factor for joint replacement surgery. In the last two decades, this surgery has proved to be an enduring solution as the joint replacement today lasts more than 20 years on an average. The quality of life one achieves after replacement surgery has immensely improved over the years. With minimally invasive techniques, recovery is faster. Patients receive post-surgery physiotherapy to recover better while at home. Not only does one regain knee movements, over a course of time, but the range of movement will also actually increase. One can get back to low-impact activities within 5-6 weeks while high-impact activities may take some more time.

Dr. C. S. Dhar, Senior Consultant at CK Birla Hospitals CMRI Department of Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement says, “Knee replacement has become very popular in Western countries since early 90’s and follow up studies of last 30 years show successful clinical outcome. With the latest innovation, implants are now completely customized which is done by computer topography. Patients in the older age group between 75-90 generally benefit from knee replacement surgery, while lifestyle modification and medication can bring significant change in younger patients depending on their condition.”

Post-surgery, the risk of infection remains around 2% which is negligible as every well-equipped hospital can handle that. With an experienced surgeon, the advanced skill-sets and the methodology used bring significant perfection in the operation. Though immediately after surgery mobilization might be restricted, but it improves gradually giving a better quality of life to the patient. While knee replacement should be the last resort, it should not be put off till one is completely unable to move. It is important to consult a highly-trained surgeon before choosing to undergo a surgery. With advanced medical technology total knee arthroplasty is now painless with minimum scarring, leads to faster recovery and definitely results in a better quality of life.

Dr. C.S. Dhar
Dr. C.S. Dhar

Department of Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement