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Knee Prosthesis: What is it, Surgery, Life After Surgery

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Knee Prosthesis: What is it, Surgery, Life After Surgery

Knee prosthesis is a surgical procedure that can be applied to individuals whose joint movement is restricted due to various problems and improves the person’s quality of life.

Knee prosthesis is a surgical procedure that can be applied to individuals whose joint movement is restricted due to various problems and improves the person’s quality of life. With surgical intervention, the pain in the knee joint can be controlled and the joint can function more effectively. During the operation, specially produced metal or plastic joint parts are placed in place of the damaged bone and cartilage tissue in the knee area. Joint range of motion and stabilization are evaluated to decide which prosthesis model is suitable for you. Then, a decision can be made in the light of data obtained through various imaging methods such as x-ray.

What is Knee Prosthesis?

Knee prosthesis is an operation performed by surgically placing an artificial joint or prosthesis instead of damaged skeletal structures in the knee area. The prostheses used during application may consist of metal, plastic or polymer. The artificial joint was developed to mimic the functions of the normal knee joint. Which prosthesis to use is decided by taking into account factors such as the person’s age, body weight, activity level and general health condition.

Surgically removing the old damaged bone and cartilage tissue and placing the prosthesis is an operation that takes approximately 2 hours. The recovery and rehabilitation period after the operation may continue for months. This operation is also called knee arthroplasty. Knee arthroplasty surgeries are among the operations frequently performed by orthopedic physicians.

How is Knee Replacement Surgery Performed?

Before the operation, physicians may perform various physical examinations and medical examinations to evaluate the general health status of individuals and investigate anesthesia risks. Taking a detailed health history of the patient, a comprehensive physical examination, blood tests and imaging methods are among the practices that can be performed in this context. During medical history taking, physicians examine the person’s previous operations and the presence of chronic health problems. It is important to question regularly used medications or dietary supplements, if any, during the history taking. Your physicians decide which medications and supplements to continue and which to discontinue.

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If the physician decides before the operation that the patient is suitable for knee prosthesis, the date for the surgery is determined. On the day of surgery, anesthesia is given to the patient before the operation to prevent the patient from feeling pain during the surgical intervention. In knee arthroplasty surgery, which usually takes 1-2 hours, a longitudinal incision is made in the knee area by the surgeon. By pulling the skin and muscle tissue aside, the bone and cartilage tissue of the knee is revealed. The damaged bone and cartilage tissue is cleaned by the surgeon and the prosthesis is placed in this cleaned area. The surgeon, who uses specialized plate and screw applications to fix the prosthesis, closes the knee area with surgical stitches after the placement process is completed, connects the skin and ensures that it is wrapped appropriately.

Knee prosthesis surgeries can be performed as total or partial replacement operations. In total knee replacement, a complete prosthesis is placed by intervening on both joint surfaces of the knee area. Total knee replacement surgery, which is the most common knee prosthesis operation, can usually be completed within 1-3 hours.

In partial knee joint replacement surgeries, which is another type of knee prosthesis operation, intervention is made on only a single damaged joint surface of the knee joint. Since less bone and joint tissue is intervened in this type of surgery, the incision made on the knee may be preferred to be smaller than the total replacement operation.

The vital signs of the patient taken to the service after the operation are closely monitored by the medical personnel in this unit of the health institution. It is considered normal to feel a slight pain and stiffness in the leg as the anesthesia wears off and the individual regains consciousness. Various analgesic medications can be administered intravenously or intramuscularly by healthcare professionals to control pain. In order to control post-operative pain and prevent life-threatening undesirable conditions such as intravascular clot formation due to inactivity, physicians prescribe various medications.

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Another important practice for controlling complications is to start early mobilization and physical therapy practices. Physical therapy practices, which are started on the first day after the operation in the majority of patients, are important in terms of supporting blood flow in the knee area.

After evaluating the patient’s health status, physicians decide when the individual will be discharged and how often physical therapy practices will continue.

Who is Knee Prosthesis Surgery Suitable for?

Knee prosthesis surgery can be performed on people with certain complaints and can improve their quality of life. Some of these complaints can be summarized as follows:

  • Severe pain or stiffness that prevents daily activities such as walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of a car, or getting up from a chair.
  • Moderate but persistent pain that is present at rest or sleep
  • Presence of swelling and chronic inflammation in the knee that does not go away with medical treatment or rest
  • Presence of significant deformation on the inner or outer surface of the knee
  • Development of various mental health problems such as depression due to the inability to perform daily activities at the desired level

Apart from these cases, knee prosthesis surgery can also be used to solve various health problems related to the knee area, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, but which cannot be controlled with current treatment practices.

Some of the criteria evaluated for your suitability for knee prosthesis operation are as follows:

  • To what extent does knee pain affect vital activities?
  • The level of damage to the bone and joint structures in the knee area
  • person’s age
  • The person’s general health condition
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Knee prosthesis surgery is a treatment generally performed on people aged 55 and over, but it can also be performed on younger individuals when necessary.

Life After Knee Replacement Surgery

The majority of people who have had knee replacement surgery, especially total replacement, state that their pain in the knee area is relieved. However, it may take some time to get used to new prosthetic knees. Optimum evaluation of this healing process should be ensured by paying attention to physical therapy practices during the recovery period. Various studies have shown that knee prostheses can maintain their function for many years.

It may take approximately 6-12 months for the person to have full control of his knee after the operation. In physical therapy practices, the aim is to encourage the patient to mobilize as soon as possible. While movement is initially achieved with walking aids, movement without support can be started once the knee becomes sufficiently strong. Following a period of approximately 12 weeks, individuals are generally able to perform many daily activities and various exercises. It is important to coordinate with healthcare professionals providing physical therapy and rehabilitation regarding what practices and exercises can be applied for different periods of the recovery period.

Knee prosthesis is an operation to place a prosthesis in this area in order to eliminate problems in the knee joint that occur due to overuse over time or due to various health problems. To get information about whether knee prosthesis surgery is a suitable operation for you, it is recommended that you contact healthcare institutions and get support from specialist physicians.

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