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Knee Pain and Joint Replacements (Arthroplasty)

What is a Knee pain?

Knee pain defines the soreness that emerges in and around one’s knee joints. The pain intensity can differ depending upon age, cause and the stage of the syndrome.

What are the causes?

Injuries

  • Ligament Sprains
  • Tear of Menicus

Diseases

  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Gout

 Inflammations

  • Bursitis of the knee
  • Tendinitis

Deformities

  • Genu Varum
  • Genu Valgum

Fractures

  • Fermoral Fracture
  • Tibial Fractures

Dislocations

  • Patela Dislocation
  • Knee Joint Dislocation

How to find the symptoms?

  •   Pain while walking down the stairs.
  •   Pain after waking up in the morning.
  •   Swelling.
  •   Painful popping within the knee.
  •   Grinding or crunching sensation.
  •  Inability of bending or straightening the knee.

One should consult an authorized Orthopedic.

What are the screening tests conducted to confirm or rule out the disorder?

  • A medical history: The practitioner gathers data about the medical history, pain and the restrictions on mobility due to pain.
  • A physical examination: A complete analysis of knee motion by compressing the joint to feel for excess fluid. This helps diagnosing disorders like Gout, stability, strength, and overall leg alignment.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays, blood tests or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and MR Arthogram

What are the treatment modalities  available for management of this disorder?

Treatment of knee pain depends entirely on its cause. A surgeon recommends surgery only when the pain becomes unbearable. Arthroplasty is a field of medicine which deals with the surgical reconstruction and total replacement of degenerated joints.

In knee-joint replacement surgery, damaged cartilage and bone are removed and replaced with artificial pieces, called Prostheses, in three surfaces:

  • Lower end of the thigh bone (femur) with metal part replacement.
  • Upper end of the shin bone–the large bone in the lower leg (tibia) with metal and a strong plastic part replacement.
  • Back side of your kneecap or patella with sturdy plastic parts replacement.

Some surgeons now use different materials, including metal on metal, ceramic on ceramic, or ceramic on plastic. The surgery usually takes around 2 hours and the patient can start walking as soon as the first day after surgery. Full recovery takes 3 months to a year.

What are the known complications in post surgery stage?

Usually, complications are rare, but one may except a few such as:

  • Stiffness of the knee
  • Infection of the wound
  • Deep infection of the joint replacement, needing further surgery
  • Unexpected bleeding into the knee – joint
  • Ligament, artery or nerve damage in the area around the knee – joint
  • Blood clots or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Instability of the new knee, calling for further surgery

Dos and Don’ts, during the course of the treatment:

  •   Don’t soak the wound in water until it gets sealed and dried.
  •   Maintain a balanced diet with an iron supplement
  •   Start with a slow walk to increase the mobility
  •   Exercise regularly. Initially under physiotherapist supervision
  •   Avoid Indian Toilets
  •   Use shoes with proper insoles
  •   Take the help of a walking aid
  •   Manage an ideal weight

Durability of the surgical effects

Post operations results are usually excellent and last from 10 to 15 years. Few last as long as 20 years before they need a second replacement.

P.S. – Seek expert medical advice before applying home based remedies!

 

image source: arthrex

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