Fears & Facts of Knee Replacement Surgery
Total Knee Replacement surgery is one of the most successful and gratifying surgeries which has revolutionized the management of advanced arthritis of knee joint. Every year about 70000 to 80000 total knee replacement surgeries are being performed in India alone.
There are some common reasons that people are afraid of getting a knee replacement surgery done.
- Fear of pain is usually the commonest reason.
- Some feel that they are too old for surgery , fear of worsening the situation and being bedridden after surgery.
- Concerns about missing important events or work is another cited reason to delay surgery.
- Others have fear and worry about the complications of the procedure and longivity of the implants.
Knee replacement surgery is as such a painful procedure but with the improvisation and advances in anesthetic and pain management techniques, TKR has now become a painless procedure. The multimodal pain regimen provides excellent relief of pain during and after the surgery.
A healthy 85 year old may have a longer life expectancy than a 55 year old diabetic, smoker with heart disease. Recommendations for or against surgery should be based on the health and the amount of arthritis in joint , not just age.
Return to work.......
The fear of being bedridden and prolonged rest is mostly in the mind of the person. In fact after the TKR surgery, one is made to stand / take a few steps same day evening or next morning. With proper training and physical therapy,person may be able to go back to work in 4 to 6 weeks depending on the job requirements. The majority of the people who have undergone knee replacement surgery are very pleased with the outcome and wish they had chosen to have surgery earlier.
Longivity of Implants.......
Another common fear is how long the implant will last and what would happen if it fails. With the modern day advancement in technology and biomaterials, the survivorship has increased considerably. Today’s total knee replacements last 20 to 25 years or longer and for many will last a lifetime. Even if the implants fail at some stage, revision surgery can be done with very good results.
These are always haunting the psyche of a person undergoing surgery. No surgery is without some risk. Complications such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis,infection etc can occur but they are less than one percent.
In the modern day era, TKR is a safe procedure with excellent outcome which completely changes the life of a person.