Knee replacement surgery is a surgical operation in which the joint in the knee is replaced with an artificial joint due to erosion or damage due to autoimmune rheumatic diseases, traumas, childhood joint infections or metabolic diseases. Knee replacement surgery is aimed to increase the patient’s mobility and get rid of the pain.
Knee replacement surgery is not the best method for all patients. For this reason, the patient’s history is listened in detail while making the decision for surgery. Generally, knee prosthesis surgery is not performed in physically heavy patients. It is preferable to fill the knee joints instead of surgery. However, the patient’s age, lifestyle and physical mobility are also effective in the decision of surgery. If non-surgical treatments or alternative methods can be applied in accordance with the patient’s complaints, the first choice is usually not surgery. However, the most effective method is to perform knee replacement surgery in cases where the patient does not get rid of the pain and the movement limitation cannot be prevented by methods such as medication and physical therapy.
Before the knee replacement surgery is performed, the presence of infection is investigated. If the patient has an infection, treatment is first applied for the infection. After infection treatment, the patient is taken to surgery. If the patient is using blood thinners, the drugs are discontinued in a controlled manner before the operation and the use of the drug is started in a controlled manner after the operation. Postoperative pain medications are used to reduce the patient’s pain. Patients are usually discharged after 3-7 days and should be checked regularly after discharge.
It is risky for patients to walk for 12 hours after knee replacement surgery. Therefore, patients can use a wheelchair for 12 hours postoperatively. After a successful prosthesis surgery, patients stay in the hospital for an average of 3-7 days. During this period, patients are allowed to walk at 2-3 hour intervals. During doctor-controlled walks, patients are monitored for pain or limitation of movement.
Knee replacement surgery usually takes 1-3 hours. The duration of surgery may vary depending on the patient’s history, wear of the knee joint and the material used for the knee replacement. Before the knee replacement surgery, the patient is informed about how the surgery will be performed, how long it will take and the postoperative period.
After knee replacement surgery, as in any surgical operation, there is a risk of complications. There is a risk of postoperative infection and leg vein occlusion. However, this risk is very low if the patient uses the medications given by the doctor and pays attention to the post-operative warnings.
Another complication that may arise after surgery is early loosening of the prosthesis. Post-operative forceful movements can damage the prosthesis. The life of the total knee prosthesis is approximately 15-20 years. The life of the prosthesis may vary depending on the patient’s physical activities, bone quality and body mass index. The risk of prosthesis and surgical complications is extremely low if the drugs prescribed by the doctor are used postoperatively and the abusive movements are avoided.