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Knowing About Knee Replacement Surgery

April 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 173

The knee is a one of the most common joints to suffer from wear and tear. While injuries are often the culprit, simple daily use of the knee joints can often lead to a need for surgery. Stiffness and pain that may be plaguing an individual are signs that should be taken to a specialist for prognosis. More basic treatments will usually be recommended at first, but if they do no help, surgery may be the best option.

How the Surgery Goes

In the case of a knee replacement surgery, anesthesia is used to put the patient under. An 8 to 12 inch incision is made in the knee and the damaged portion is removed. The surface needs to be shaped to fit an artificial joint and is held together by special cement. These replacement joints then rely on their surrounding ligaments and muscles to function correctly.

Minimally Invasive Surgery May Be an Option

MIS, or minimally invasive surgery, has helped shape a more efficient process for knee replacements. This procedure allows for surgeons to minimize large incisions, leaving the patient with less scarring. As described above, a cut can be as long as 12 inches, but with MIS the incision is typically between 3 to 5 inches.

With less tissue trauma, this method may lead to a decreased recovery time, less pain and even better motion. This method is relatively and only performed by a few orthopedic surgeons in North America. Research is still being conducted to measure the effectiveness of both procedures in comparison to one another.

Post Surgery

After surgery, the hospital stay is usually about three to five days. Most patients see a dramatic improvement in mobility about a month after the procedure. Pain caused by damaged joints is usually lessened by the smooth surface created during surgery.

Patients should be able to stand and move the joint the day following surgery. Rehabilitation may be needed, and often parallel bars or walking devices will be recommended. It is important not to put full body weight on the knee until the new joint is able to support it. Six weeks is the average time frame for walking with little assistance, and physical therapy will be required throughout rehabilitation.

Knee surgery can dramatically change the quality of life for many people suffering from chronic joint pain. There are, however, times when surgery should be delayed as long as possible. A physician or surgeon should always be consulted about all the options available to the patient before going ahead with surgery.

Kitchi Joyce is the Director of Administrative Services for Southern Orthopaedics Specialists, a full service Atlanta orthopedic practice specializing in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. Southern Orthopaedics Specialists has multiple locations around the Atlanta Metro area where doctors, physicians and medical staff help patients live and perform at the peak of their physical ability. Decades of experience, education and research means that all branches of Atlanta orthopedics are covered, from cartilage restoration to spine care and sports medicine.

Source: EzineArticles
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