Did you injure your knee while playing baseball during that intense match in Orem? If you’re suffering from severe pain for a couple of weeks now, it could be a sign that you need to undergo knee replacement surgery. But what is knee replacement surgery, and how do you know if you need one? Below, let’s take a look at the procedure and some things you need to know about it.
What is knee replacement surgery?
When you have a knee injury, your joint and its surrounding tissues can deteriorate. When these become damaged or worn down, the bones on your knees may rub and crush together instead of sliding each other. This creates intense pain that may limit your ability to flex and extend your knees. So, how do you treat it? This is whereknee replacement surgery, aka knee arthroplasty or knee resurfacing, comes in.
In knee replacement surgery, the surgeon may implant a joint-shaped prosthetic to relieve pain and let your knee move properly. To do this, he cuts away damaged cartilage and bone from your kneecap, shinbone, and thighbone. The surgeon then replaces it with an artificial joint.
Who undergoes knee replacement?
Athletes like you who suffered from an ACL injury may be required to take the surgery. ACL stands for anterior cruciate ligament, which frequently occurs in sports that involve sudden jumping, stops, or changes in direction, such as baseball.
If you are one of the following, you are a likely candidate for this procedure:
- Got partial or completely torn ACL
- Got chronic knee inflammation or swelling
- Got injured knee ligaments or tendons or other parts of your knee
- Got knee deformity, with visible arch on the inside or outside of the knee
- Underwent a rehab but your knee is still unstable
- Active in sports or requires knee stability and strength at work
- Got chronic ACL deficiency or severe unstable knee
- Willing to finish a long and rigorous rehab program
Aside from knee injuries, knee arthroplasty is also often performed to relieve acute pain from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis patients. Throughout the years, more than 90% of those who have undergone surgery said they experienced dramatic pain relief. Most of them suffered from osteoarthritis.
Preparation for the surgery
Since knee resurfacing involves major surgery, you will have to undergo medical consultations and physical evaluations. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking specific dietary supplements and medications before the operation.
Your surgeon will either give you a general, spinal, or epidural anesthetic. Then, he will remove some damaged bone and cartilage, which he will replace with a new implant to give your knee joint smooth surfaces again. The implant can be made of metal, plastic, or both.
Full recovery may take up to three months, according to the American Association for Hip and Knee Surgeons. Recover process involves physical therapy sessions to strengthen the knee. Your therapist will encourage you to walk with a walker, crutches, or walking sticks, one to three days after the procedure. This may be painful, but you need to follow the instructions for rehabilitation.
If you’re suffering from intense pain due to your knee injury, consult your doctor immediately. Ask about the knee replacement surgery in detail so you’ll know what to expect before, during, and after the operation.