We really don't realize how valuable our knees are until they start giving way to continual pain and discomfort. Knee pain can be excruciating as well as it can totally knock you off your feet and completely immobilize you. No amount of medication, exercises, physical therapy and other natural therapies seem to give relief or show symptoms of improvement. The final resort to save a knee from permanent damage is a knee replacement. This procedure is recommended for severely affected people to relieve pain and allow mobility. Knee replacement has now become a mainstream and highly sought after the procedure as it is often the last alternative allows the people to move about and make them more active.
When is Knee Replacement recommended?
Since knee replacement is quite a complex surgery it should be considered only after first trying out other non-surgical procedures. Before opting for knee replacement my experience with tourmaline far infrared it is advisable to try other treatments and therapies to see if the surgery can be avoided. People of any age can suffer knee pain due to several reasons, but this procedure is only recommended for people above 50 years and below 80 years.
What happens in knee replacement (TKR)?
Knee replacements can be of two types-
Total Knee Replacement(TKR)
Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is a serious procedure which will have several implications which one will have to deal with for life. As this surgery is most often done in people above 50, lots of care and precaution needs to be taken. In this surgical procedure, the damaged cartilage and bone from the exterior of the knee joint and it is replaced with artificial or man-made materials called prosthetics. These prosthetics are either metallic or made of high-quality plastic.
Partial Knee Replacement(PKR)
In this surgical procedure, only a part of the knee joint is replaced and the remaining parts are left intact. It is done to replace either the interior medial part or the external lateral part of the knee. In some cases, replacement of the kneecap is done as a part of partial knee replacement to enable the person to become mobile once again.
Advantages of knee replacement
Relief from constant pain is one of the biggest advantages a person can look forward to.
Movement is easier. Increased mobility and less dependency on external supports like canes or crutches can be done away with.
can live a normal life with the ease of movement and regained the ability to perform regular day to day activities without being subject to continuous pain or inflammation.
Disadvantages of knee replacement
A new knee can never replace the original one so a lot of precautions and care needs to be taken even while performing normal day to day activities and movements.
Cannot bend, sit on ground level or put complete weight on the knees.
A feeling of something moving accompanied by some clicking sounds is felt by the person quite often after knee replacement surgery.
Unless taken care of properly, the new knee may also become loose or wear off.
Cannot perform any jerky movements or play strenuous sports.
Preventive methods by which knee replacements can be avoided
Whether one is suffering from chronic osteoarthritis, ACL or any other knee injury proper and timely care can ensure recovery and even save them the trouble of undergoing unnecessary knee replacement surgeries. And if at all in the worst case it cannot be avoided and has to be performed, at least these methods and tips can at least postpone it for as long as possible.
Maintaining low body weight helps to put less pressure on the knees, thus protecting them from further damage
Exercise and physical Therapy helps to keep the body and the various joint in the body flexible and strong. Strong healthy muscles help protect the knee joint by providing support and thus reducing pressure on the joints.
Injections like corticosteroids, hyaluronic injections, and botox injections may provide relief from pain by reducing inflammation and providing lubrication to the joints.
Several Anti –inflammatory drugs are also prescribed to elevate pain and swelling. But all these have a temporary effect.
Nutritional and dietary supplementation is also highly recommended as several ongoing researches have shown that supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin help to repair and restore the damaged cartilage in the knees.
Use of knee braces, knee caps and especially recommended by orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists for knee protection. These highly specialized knee protection aids go a long way in pain relief, knee alignment and keep the person comfortable by providing comfort and protection to the damaged knee.