Article by Rohan Davies
What is a Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability. It is most commonly performed for osteoarthritis, and also for other knee diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
What Causes Knee Joint Deterioration?
Knee arthritis (inflammation of your knee joint) is a major cause of knee joint deterioration. The most common arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is inflammation related to wear and tear of the knee joint.
What are the Symptoms of Knee Joint Arthritis?
The obvious sign of wear and tear of the knee joint is pain. Knee pain can be achy or sharp and may be accompanied by swelling.
How is Knee Arthritis Diagnosed?
On examination, your physiotherapist or doctor will look for signs of limited knee movement and deformity, swelling and, importantly, knee pain.
What is the Treatment for Total Knee Replacement?
Pre Operative Physiotherapy
Pre-operatively you may be prescribed a course of physiotherapy to better prepare your knee and its surrounding muscles for the upcoming surgery.
Post Operative PhysiotherapyMany patients who have a Total Knee Replacement (TKR) start to feel better within a few weeks of the surgery.
Post-operative physiotherapy is important to regain full knee motion, strength and day to day function.
Your post-operative physiotherapy treatment will aim to:
Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery
Risks of knee replacement surgery include: infection, persistent instability and knee pain, knee stiffness, and difficulty returning to your previous level of activity.The good news is that better than 90% of patients have no complications post-surgery.
The first Total Knee Replacement (TKR) was pioneered by Leslie Gordon Percival Shiers (FRCS) in 1954. He refused to patent his invention, but rather allow other surgeons to modify and improve on his ideas.
Return to Activity Post-Total Knee Replacement
Most activities can be returned to following a successful knee replacement. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the knee prosthesis, it currently not recommended to return to high impact activities such as running and jumping. Less high impact sports such as golf, bowls or swimming are encouraged.
For more information about knee replacement, please ask the advice of your physiotherapist or doctor.
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