2 Facts Nobody Tells You About Knee Replacements

Whether you have been living with arthritis for a while or you have recently suffered an injury, pain, swelling, and immobility of the knee can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional well=being. Because of this discomfort, undergoing a knee replacement procedure may seem like a smart idea. Even though they are so common, the estimated 600,000 knee replacement surgeries completed each year are usually misunderstood. Here are a few things nobody ever tells you about the knee replacement surgery:

Knee Replacements Do Not Actually Replace Knees

You may think you will have a completely new knee after your replacement surgery, but that is not actually true.

During the surgery, damaged cartilage and a small amount of bone are removed and replaced with a metal implant. Cement is applied to the metal implants onto the bone to ensure the knee joint moves in a smooth, even, and natural manner.

In some instances, the patella, or kneecap, is resurfaced if there is any damage. Then, a plastic spacer is inserted between the metal components to help the knee joint glide without difficulty.

Where damaged pieces are replaced with new, functional components, the procedure does not replace the entire knee.

 Your Recovery Could Be Long

It is important to note that you will not experience immediate pain relief and an improved mobility after the surgery. Most people require up to 12 weeks of recovery and rehabilitation with physical therapy.

Your surgeon will ask you to get up from your hospital bed and take a few steps within a few hours of your surgery. Walking with an assistive device, such as a cane or walker will be possible. This will help your surgeon and physical therapist see how well the new components in your knee are working.

While in the hospital, you will learn how to change your bandage, bathe, and get dressed without overexerting yourself after surgery.

Once home from the hospital, you will need to continue working with your physical therapist. Walking with and without an aid, light stretches, weight training, and even swimming are all excellent exercises to complete with the help of your physical therapist.

Pain relief may involve a variety of options. Your surgeon will prescribe anti-inflammatory medication, which will not only ease the pain but also reduce inflammation and swelling. An ice pack should also be used periodically. The ice will decrease your pain, but it will also improve blood circulation, which aids in your recovery.

If you will be undergoing a knee replacement, proper understanding is essential. By learning these facts that most people will not tell you, you will become more familiar with this common procedure. Contact a local orthopaedic doctor for more information and assistance.