Total Knee Replacement
The knee is a very crucial joint in the body which is required for movement, assisting the legs in supporting and carrying the weight of the body. The knee can be totally replaced or reconstructed with the help of surgical intervention. A successful total knee replacement operation provides relief from pain and helps restore the proper functioning of the knee joint. The medical term for any joint replacement and reconstruction surgery is arthroplasty.
What is the main cause for Total Knee Replacement?
The main cause for total knee replacement is arthritis i.e. painful inflammation of the joints with stiffness. There are many different types of arthritis, but knee pain is cause primarily by the following three –
- Osteoarthritis : This is an age-related wear and tear type of arthritis that occurs in people who are 50 years or older. It can also occur in younger people, and the noticeable aspect is the softening and erosion of the cartilage which cushions the knee bones. This causes the bones to rub against each other and leads to pain and stiffness.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis : This is a chronic disease that is caused by inflammation and thickening of the synovial membrane which surrounds the knee joint. If untreated, it leads to cartilage damage and loss.
- Post-traumatic Arthritis : Accidents and injuries to knee can affect the bones and ligaments. This in turn can damage the articular cartilage over a period of time leading to knee damage and limited functionality.
Common Reasons For Total Knee Replacement
The main causes that necessitate a total knee replacement surgery are listed below –
- Haemophilia – This is an inherited condition which weakens the blood’s ability to clot in times of injury and accidents. Severe haemophilia can cause internal bleeding mainly around the joints. This leads to the knee joint becoming weak and stiff and can lead to damage in the future.
- Gout – It is a type of arthritis that involves formation of small crystals inside and around the joints. It leads to sudden and severe attacks of pain and swelling.
- Unusual Bone Growth – A medical condition known as fibrous dysplasia causes the knee bones to grow or swell in an abnormal manner.
- Bone Death – The bones of the knee joint can experience death or necrosis due to problems mainly caused by erratic blood supply.
- Injury – Severe accidents can lead to total knee damage without any other option but to get reconstruction and replacement surgery.
- Deformity – The deformity of knee can lead to pain and damage of cartilage necessitating surgical intervention.
Total Knee Replacement Method
- The patient’s medical condition is evaluated to confirm the need for TKA i.e. Total Knee Arthroplasty.
- Pathological tests and radiographic imaging studies are conducted as part of this evaluation.
- Antithromboembolic devices and antibiotics are used in the surgical procedure.
- The operation is performed either under regional or general anesthesia.
- The technique involves incision, restoration of mechanical alignment, bone removal, cementing of prosthetic components.
- Post-operative care is given with an observation period of 24 hours in high-dependency wards.