SYMPTOMSPain is the most important symptom. Pain is accompanied by loss of motion & restriction of activity leading to dependence on others and permanent disability. Deformity often accompanies arthritis due to bone damage leading to ‘bow knee’ or ‘knock knee’ deformity. Loss of balance, instability and loss of confidence are other outcomes of this disease process.
CONSERVATIVE TREATMENTIn earlier stages of arthritis, pain relieving medicines have a very important role. Physiotherapy and exercises help throughout the management of arthritis and also play a vital role after any surgery as well. It is in the best interest of the patient and the affected knee to have strong and active muscles around the knee which act as a motor to drive the machine i.e. the knee.
SURGICAL TREATMENTDepending on the patient’s complaints, age, activity, bone quality and stage of arthritis various surgical options are:
|Knee arthroscopy |
(Key hole surgery)
|Realignment procedure (Osteotomy)||Partial knee |
|Total knee replacement (TKR)|
JOINT REPLACEMENT WHEN?
- Pain not controlled by medicines
- Stiffness (loss of motion)
- Restriction of day to day activities
SURGICAL PROCEDUREThe damaged bearing surface of the knee joint (articular cartilage) is replaced by metallic prosthesis (made up of cobalt-chromium or titanium), which articulates with a polyethylene bearing. These prosthetic components are fixed to the bone using bone-cement or rarely using coated components onto which bone grows. The right decision about appropriate prosthesis for a particular patient is made.
RISKSTotal knee replacement is a major surgical procedure with very high success rates. However, like any other surgical procedure it is also associated
with some risks, which are uncommon, but must be kept in the mind. These risks include:
- Wear & loosening
- Venous blood clots
RECOVERYThe patiens are admitted for less than one week after surgery. All patients usually walk on the next day of surgery. This is a major operation and may take 3 to 6 months for full recovery. Some patients continue to experience improvement in he performance of their new knee up to as long as 1-2 years. The recovery is much faster in thinner and hard working patients and those who are motivated to participate in active rehabilitation.