Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Many people are turning to total knee replacement surgery as the ultimate answer to arthritis laden joints that have become too painful to live with daily. The future looks bright for those medical services that offer total replacement surgery because of the epidemic of obesity that certainly promises to also destroy many knees in the coming decades. The newest designs of joint replacements are a far cry from the earlier man-made joints that often brought little mobility to their users. Depending on the age of the patient, many people are enjoying an almost same life scenario as before their natural joint ever began deteriorating. Activities that had to be curbed or completely discontinued are now being enjoyed again by many patients who have had this procedure performed.

During this operation, the surgeon cuts away damaged bone and cartilage. Total knee replacement surgery often involves the thighbone, shin and kneecap. It is replaced with a state of the art prosthesis that is made of metals alloys, plastics and polymers. In the first generation of joints, the differences between them and door hinges were slim, but 21st century joints are designed to actually mimic the naturals ability to roll and glide as it bends. Specific knees are designed with weight, age and activity level of the patients and the type of joint used also takes into account the overall health of the patient. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are they works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:14)

Over three hundred thousand kneejoint operations are performed each year in the United States. Most of these operations take place for those persons who are over the age of fifty. That is usually because of the onset of osteoarthritis. This describes the wearing away of the cartilage that softens and wears away between the bones in the kneejoint. The result is that the bones begin rubbing against one another causing pain and stiffness. There is also the affects of rheumatoid arthritis in which a membrane in the kneejoint becomes thickened and inflamed creating too much synovial fluid that overfills the joint space. In any of these cases plus the possibility of having arthritis following a severe injury to the kneejoint can all lead to total knee replacement surgery.

Most people seek total knee replacement surgery after suffering severe knee pain that restricts mobility, exercise, getting in and out of chairs, climbing stairs and other similar movements that are all a part of normal everyday activity. Some people have knee deformities, causing the joint to bow out while other people have pain that doesn't respond to anti-inflammatory medicine. Because so many older people long to have an active life even into their seventies and eighties, this kind of surgery enables so many of them to get back to an active life again. The attending physician will ask that a number of tests be run on the patient before the operation is performed that include x-rays, an MRI and perhaps a CT scan as well as a physical exam of the knee in order to assess clearly what kind of surgery is exactly needed. The surgeon will of course talk about the risks of and the recovery from surgery.

Risks that sometimes occur with total knee replacement surgery are blood clots that break away and cause chest pain, shortness of breath and shock. In rare cases, the clots can even cause a heart attack, with risk of death. Other surgery risks can include urinary tract infection, chronic knee pain and stiffness, bleeding in the knee joint and nerve damage. In some severe cases, a second operation may be required to repair damage not addressed in the first operation. Also in rare cases, damage can be done to liver, heart, and kidney because of the anesthesia.

Once the total knee replacement surgery is finished, taking about ninety to one hundred and eighty minutes, the patient is taken the recovery room where monitoring of vital functions takes place. Once it is certain that the entire anesthetic has worn off and functions are normal, return to the hospital room will take place. Things such as surgical hose will have to be worn, a catheter will possibly be required, and a passive motion device will be employed that will keep the knee moving slowly for hours at a time. Patients may be attached to what is known as a Patient Controlled Analgesia machine. This machine allows that patient to control the amount of pain medication he or she receives. Of course, the patient cannot over medicate but within reason, the person having the total knee replacement surgery will be able to have pain relief.

In almost every case, a patient who has had total knee replacement surgery will have some discomfort with the knee that has had the prosthetic implanted. There will be the need to take pain medicine for a number of days following arrival at home. Patients should plan to have help at the house to assist in getting around for the first few weeks. The patient will probably have to use a cane, walker or crutches to assist in getting around for a number of weeks. Once mobility has increased to where those aids are not needed, activities such as golf, bike riding and swimming will be encouraged to once again be enjoyed. While many older Americans are enjoying activities once only thought to be the property of youngsters, such as baseball, basketball, soccer, jogging and hang gliding, these high impact activities must be eschewed by knee replacement patients. And because the prosthetic can wear out or be damaged, care will have to be continually given to avoid high impact activities.

Knee Pain Relief

Those in need of knee pain relief understand the difficulties that may be associated with injuries and illnesses that negatively impact the joints. Knees are such a vital part of normal mobility. When these joints are not functioning correctly, all aspects of life can be impacted. These crucial joints may be damaged due to injuries, infections, bone tumors, degeneration, and arthritis. Stabilization is the responsibility of ligaments within the joint and on the outer sides. Ligament injuries will frequently indicate a need for surgery. Rheumatic diseases can have a serious impact on the knees and how they function. A visit to the doctor is usually the first step that is undertaken by someone who is suffering from knee pain. Since there are so many different things that can create a need for knee pain relief, self diagnosis is never a good idea.

These crucial joints may be one of the most likely places in the body to sustain an injury. It is also the largest joint on the body as well as the most complicated. Even the most inactive person will utilize this joint on a regular basis, exposing knees to the threat of overuse. A sudden twisting of the knees can result in torn cartilage and ligaments. Tears in ligaments and the cartilage can occur in sports related injuries. Overuse of the knees is a more common source of joint pain. Under this category falls such health issues as tendinitis, bursitis, and muscle strain. Stressing a joint beyond what is reasonable can cause microscopic tears in muscles and tendons. Those seeking knee pain relief will frequently be doing so because of the inflammation that follows overuse or injury. This painful inflammation is necessary since it is part of the healing process.

Those who are carrying excess pounds of body weight can increase the possibility of overuse injuries since the extra weight is putting a strain upon the joints. It is important that overuse injuries are given a chance to heal before more physical activity is attempted. Exercise regimens that have a low impact on the knees is very important for anyone who wishes to remain fit without harming these important joints. Such exercise is vital when it comes to keeping knees strong and flexible. Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis that is a result of strain and over utilization of the joint. When a patient is suffering from this malady, there are a number of medications and treatments that are available for knee pain relief.

A number of treatments and drugs can offer knee pain relief to sufferers. Protection from further damage is very important when an injury takes place. A compression wrap can be helpful as can the use of crutches. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a debilitating joint injury. In this way, an individual can receive treatment and diagnosis before further injury to the joint can occur. A doctor may prescribe rest for the patient in addition to medications for knee pain relief. Compression through bandages or joint braces can help to provide stabilization and reduce the build up of fluids. The application of ice may be required for many acute injuries. Ice will help to reduce swelling and can also provide comfort.

There are a number of alternative medicines that have been purported to provide knee pain relief. Glucosamine and chondroitin are substances that are found in bone cartilage and occur naturally there. It is possible to purchase these substances over the counter and taken as a dietary supplement. Studies have shown mixed results when it comes to the success of this medication. For some individuals, a decrease in pain has been reported, but for others, little difference was reported. A variety of braces and knee supports can also be helpful. These products are designed to provide added support to injured knees and can also prevent further injury by limiting the amount of movement that the joint experiences. Some braces are also able to provide therapeutic warmth to the patient. Many doctors will also prescribe the use of braces and supports after joint surgery that will be utilized until the patient has fully recovered. The Bible assures believers that God is faithful to forgive confessed sins and provide cleansing from unrighteousness. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

A variety of joint injuries can result in the need for knee pain relief. Injury to any of the four ligaments of the knee can be quite painful. Tears in these ligaments could happen as a result of a serious fall or some other kind of trauma. Symptoms of a ligament tear could include immediate pain that will increase if the patient tries to bend the knee or attempts to walk. A popping sound could be another indicator of torn ligaments. Inflamed tendons, or tendinitis, can exhibit pain in the joint that seems to be coming from below the kneecap. Swelling will be present as well. If the patient cannot straighten the joint, this could be another indicator of tendinitis. Tears and injuries to the meniscus may exhibit similar symptoms and be very painful. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae. These are sacs of fluid that act to cushion the joint and keep things moving smoothly. With skilled medical care, even those who suffer from chronic joint issues can find relief.

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