What is total knee replacement?
Total knee arthroplasty is the definitive treatment for advanced knee osteoarthritis. This procedure is usually recommended for elderly patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis and conservative treatment methods have failed. It is worth noting that the first total knee arthroplasty was performed in 1968. Since then, improvements in surgical materials and techniques have greatly increased its effectiveness. During this procedure, plastic and metal inserts are used to replace bone and cartilage in all parts of the knee. Also, the vast majority of total knee arthroplasties operate for more than 15 years and over 80% have a life expectancy of more than 20 years. At the same time, at rates of more than 90%, patients after total knee arthroplasty have:
Significant reduction in knee pain
Significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living.
How is total knee arthroplasty performed?
A standard total knee arthroplasty takes about two hours. It is usually done under a dorsal anaesthetic. An incision of about 10 cm is then made in the anterior surface of the knee. After surgery, patients stay in the hospital for 1-2 days. With the use of minimally invasive procedures and modern analgesic methods, postoperative pain is minimal. Therefore, patients are mobilized with the help of a physiotherapist a few hours after surgery. Subsequently, suture cutting is performed 15 days after surgery. In the first days after surgery, patients walk with the help of armpit bacteria or a “P” walker.
Postoperatively, anticoagulation should be taken for one month. Depending on the type of work, patients can return to work within 6 weeks. In addition, driving is possible at 6 weeks after surgery. It is also important to note that most patients return to sports activities, such as walking, running, swimming and cycling, within a few months.
Possible complications of the surgery
As with any surgical procedure, complications can arise and in the case of total knee arthroplasty, complications exist as a possibility. The following complications are most commonly seen:
Inflammation of the surgical wound, deep vein thrombosis
Hypersensitivity in the knee area
Loosening of the grafts.
A few words about osteoarthritis and how it is treated in the early stages
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease worldwide, with the knee being the most commonly affected joint. Over time, the surfaces in the knee joint can become worn down. As a result, the knee becomes painful, swollen and stiff. Occasionally, the pain becomes so severe that it wakes the patient up at night and limits daily activities. Osteoarthritis mainly affects people over 45 years of age and can lead to pain and loss of function. Initial treatment is conservative and involves taking anti-inflammatory drugs, weight loss, physiotherapy and intra-articular injections of cortisone and hyaluronic acid.
It is therefore clear that specialised knowledge is required both for the procedure and for the recovery of the patient. The orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Antonios Pettas, has many years of experience, with a high success rate of interventions. Watch the video below of a patient’s experience with this condition and contact him for a personalized treatment and rehabilitation plan.