Knee Replacement Surgery – Things To Know

Knee Replacement Surgery – Things To Know
February 5, 2024 by admin

A damaged knee joint adversely affects everything you do, even getting up from a chair and going up and down stairways. If you are faced with such a situation, it is time you consider undergoing knee replacement surgery. However, you may have a lot of questions when it comes to surgery. Consulting with the best ortho doctor in Chennai is the right option for you to know more about knee replacement. Having said that, here is some preliminary information on the subject:

Knee Replacement Surgery – What Is It?

Knee replacement is the surgical replacement of your knee joint with an artificial knee joint. The replacement option is considered only when all other methods of treatment, such as medications, injections, etc., fail to relieve your knee pain.

Knee joints often fail because of wear and tear as people age. Knee pain results from rubbing bones because of damaged or worn-out cartilage that provides the cushioning effect between bones.

Knee surgery involves the replacement of a damaged portion of the bone and cartilage with an artificial joint made of plastic and metal having a smooth, gliding surface.

Causes For Knee Replacement

Typically, arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, causes damage to the knee joint and creates the need for knee replacement. However, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic arthritis, and other inflammatory arthritic conditions such as gout are also known to cause serious damage to the knee joints.

Types Of Knee Joint Replacements

Knee joint replacements may either be partial or total. A knee joint has three compartments – medial (inside), lateral (outside), and anterior (kneecap). Partial replacement is recommended by doctors when only a portion of the cartilage is damaged (typically the medial). The decision is often made based on an examination and evaluation of the patient’s knee joint and a review of their imaging reports. Most knee replacements are often total as arthritis affecting the entire knee joint.

Preparing For The Knee Joint Replacement Surgery

When choosing the surgeon to undergo knee replacement surgery, you must consider the doctor’s experience. Choosing a doctor who has done more knee replacement surgeries is always better for better outcomes. Once you have identified the right doctor, the best way to prepare for the surgery is by following his/her instructions.

Conditions like diabetes and obesity are known to impact the outcome of knee replacement surgery negatively. Therefore, you need to get your BMI and blood sugar levels under control if you are obese or have diabetes. Another way you can improve your odds of achieving better results from the surgery is by engaging in ‘prehab,’ a pre-surgery protocol, which includes exercises to strengthen the muscles around your knee.

Duration Of A Knee Replacement Surgery

The time needed for the knee replacement surgery is approximately 30 to 60 minutes. However, considering the preparation time and administration of anaesthesia, the total duration of the surgical procedure can go up to about two hours. For a total knee joint replacement surgery, anaesthesia will include:

  • A spinal anaesthetic to numb the leg at the time of the surgery and for several hours after that
  • A local anaesthetic (administered at the knee joint)

The ‘nerve block’ is an advancement in the medical field that helps extend pain relief to several days following the surgery. The pain you may experience after a partial knee replacement surgery is much less than that you will experience after a full knee replacement surgery. Therefore, you may not be given a nerve block after a partial knee joint replacement surgery.

Pain Management After Surgery

The severity of the pain you experience post-surgery depends on you. The best way of managing pain is to ensure that it doesn’t start. Typically, you will be given opioid pain medication. It eases not only the immediate pain but also the more severe postoperative pain. However, it is better that you change over to non-narcotic medication at the earliest. During the surgery, your doctor may inject a non-opioid drug, which decreases the need for opioid medication for 48 to 72 hours following the surgery, along with other anti-inflammatory medications.

Duration Of Hospitalization

In the case of a total knee joint replacement surgery, you may have to spend a couple of nights in the hospital. Some surgeons may perform the surgery as an outpatient procedure. However, it depends on their experience and training and the protocol specified by the hospital. Partial knee joint replacement surgeries are done as an outpatient procedure.

Recovery Time

The recovery from knee replacement surgery can take about a year. It is a three-stage process:

Phase – I (First Six Weeks):

The wound heals, swelling reduces, and you regain movement.

Six To Eight Weeks After The Surgery

It is important that you start working with a physiotherapist at least three days a week, only upon the doctor’s recommendation. You may have to use either a walker or a walking stick during the initial days after the surgery. Some surgeons may recommend that patients do not flex their knee joints beyond 90 degrees. Try to incorporate the doctor’s suggestion on the initial day after the surgery to gain enough strength for your knee successfully.

Phase – II (Following Three To Five Months): 

You will build endurance, and muscles will gain strength through normal life activities and exercise.

Phase – III (Final Six Months): 

You continue to gain mobility and strength.


Sugam Hospital Chrompet

Sugam Hospital is a multi-speciality healthcare facility in Chennai with ultramodern facilities to handle major surgeries in all specialities. The state-of-the-art facilities include a theatre complex with laminar flow air-conditioning and HEPA filter systems; a CSSD module to implement an infection control policy to improve patient safety; a clinical laboratory, radiology, and pharmacy that operate round-the-clock, and the best blood bank in Chennai.