Life After Knee Replacement Surgery - What to Expect?
What is Total Knee Replacement?
Total knee replacement or TKR is a procedure performed to rehabilitate a severely damaged knee joint caused due to arthritis or injury. Patients who require this surgery usually find it difficult to perform simple routine activities such as walking or climbing stairs and experience pain even while sitting down.
A knee replacement is opted for when nonsurgical treatment options such as medications and walking supports are no longer useful. This surgery that replaces a worn-out joint or a damaged knee joint is safe and effective to alleviate pain, correct existing leg deformities and resume normal activities.
When is knee replacement required?
This surgery is necessary when a worn out or damaged knee joint causes reduced and restricted mobility and requires replacement. One of the most common reasons for this surgery is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that causes wear and tear of the flexible tissues at the ends of bones. This is a progressive degenerative condition that worsens over time.
What are the signs that you might require a knee replacement?
There are certain signs and symptoms that might indicate that you need knee replacement surgery to improve your movement and quality of life.
- Persistent pain that does not get resolved with medication or physical therapy
- The excruciating pain that can disrupt your sleep
- Stiff joints or swelling
- Deformity in the knees that can result in bowing of the knee joints
- General difficulty in performing daily activities such as climbing stairs or even walking
Replacement surgery is one of the ideal treatment plans for pain and disability.
What is robotic knee replacement?
A robotic knee replacement surgery is quite similar to a conventional or traditional replacement. In this procedure, the orthopaedic surgeon removes the damaged or worn-out tissue from the knee joint and replaces it with an artificial joint.
This procedure is known as a robotic replacement because it is done with the assistance of a robotic arm which is a programmed robotic device. There are several advantages associated with a robotic knee replacement.
- A robotic knee replacement procedure allows greater precision during the procedure for the placement of the prosthesis.
- It leads to shorter recovery times and enhanced results.
- This procedure offers a better balance in the surrounding soft tissues of the knee and also results in a better alignment of the knee joint after the procedure.
- Enhanced surgical planning of this procedure
- Results in an accurate plan and optimal size and placement of the joint replacement thus ensuring a perfect fit.
What type of patient is suitable for a robotic knee replacement?
Patients who fail to recover from medication and physical therapy are often suitable candidates for knee replacement. A robotic knee replacement surgery is a far more superior and technologically advanced joint replacement surgery that is performed to restore a patient's function of the joint and help them return to their daily routine.
The orthopaedic surgeon at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi suggests that choosing the type of surgery suitable for a patient is dependent on various factors. Your consulting surgeon will usually recommend the type of surgery depending on your age, diet, lifestyle and existing condition of the knee joints.
Since this is major surgery and an important decision, the treatment plans are always customized according to the patient's needs. In certain patients, traditional knee replacement surgery is still recommended.
Robotic Knee Replacement Surgery - Aftermath
The recovery and rehabilitation steps after a knee replacement surgery are crucial to the overall success of the procedure. These plans are often customized and planned according to the patient's condition and lifestyle.
What is the average hospital stay and recovery time after knee replacement surgery?
Patients who undergo robotic knee replacement surgery are often able to leave the hospital within 1 to 4 days and are able to take care of themselves and resume most activities within 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.
Most of the patients recover after 3 months, though it can take 6 months or longer in some cases before they are fully recovered.
What to Expect after Robotic Knee Surgery?
It can be challenging to adjust to the new joint after the procedure. Most patients recover fully within 6 to 12 months.
1. Resuming daily activities
Most patients resume work and their routine activities after 3 to 6 weeks. Walking normally usually begins within 10 days after the surgery. However, intensive work or activities would require a break of at least 3 months before you begin them again.
Patients who undergo robotic knee replacement surgery are able to get back to driving after 5 to 6 weeks of the procedure. It is essential to rest your joints before you resume driving so that you are able to bend your knee enough to operate the car.
Travelling can be resumed after consulting with your orthopaedic surgeon. Long flights and long strenuous road trips must be avoided to prevent exerting the knee joints. For long distance travel, minor exercises should be conducted and appropriate clothing should be worn in order to prevent blood clots.
Patients who undergo knee replacement surgery are often encouraged to begin walking as soon as possible. This is first done by the use of an assistive device and soon the patient walks on his own. Patients are able to walk a distance and engage in other physical activities after 12 weeks.
One of the most favoured exercises is swimming as it does not put pressure on the knee joints and is good for the overall health of the patient.
It is important that patients follow the post-operative rehabilitation plan closely and incorporate a healthy diet, manage their weight and include recommended exercises in their daily routine. This will ensure a healthy and complete recovery and return to their daily activities and normal life.
Orthopaedic Services at Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi
Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi is the best orthopaedic Hospital in Navi Mumbai and caters to all types of orthopaedic disorders. The team of specialists comprises some of the most experienced orthopaedic surgeons in the city who are adept at diagnosing and treating orthopaedic conditions across all age categories.