A study by AHRQ ( Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) found that over half a million knee replacement surgeries are conducted in the US, annually, and the number is set to rise by 2030. This form of operation is considered to be one of the most successful in the medical field, with 90% of post-op patients enjoying the new joints for no less than 20 years before they wear out.
Regardless of the success rate, it is still an invasive procedure that requires both pre and post-operative preparation. Your medical professionals will often give a preparation list, weeks, or months ahead of the actual surgery date. The main focus is often getting you mentally and physically prepared through adequate health along with knee strengthening training.
While there is no avoiding the need for replacement surgery, you can still understand the requirements, which will decrease the possibility of surgical anxiety. Here are 12 things you will find useful before having a knee replacement.
1. The Actual Procedure
Due to the invasive nature of knee replacement surgery, it is always conducted under anesthetic either epidural or under spinal. This is done as the surgeon has to push aside the kneecap to gain access to the knee joint. The bone needs to be prepared by removing the damaged knee portions along with underlying smaller bones. In this way, the worn-out bones are replaced with plastic and metal parts precisely cut to match the shape of the knee.
The metal implants must be placed in such a way so as to fit directly into the bone. A plastic spacer is inserted between the metal parts to ensure a smooth surface. Thereafter the kneecap that was moved needs to be replaced. The surgery itself is not always smooth sailing and hence complications can be expected during the surgery. Despite the chances of, during surgery, complications being low there are reported cases of post-surgery knee joint infections and increased chronic illnesses.