Total Knee Replacement Surgery

What does Total Knee Replacement (TKR) surgery mean?

Total Knee Replacement is a surgical procedure where the diseased knee is replaced with artificial knee joint (implant). During the total knee surgery, the ends of the thighbone are removed and replaced with metal shell; the end of the leg bone is replaced with a plastic piece over a metal stem. Depending on the condition of damage of the kneecap, the under surface is also resurfaced with plastic kneecap. Many designs and different materials are currently in use for the replacement. At Apollo Institute of Orthopaedics, we are using the advanced implants, delivering best clinical outcomes and increasing the quality of life.

When do you need Total Knee Replacement?

  • If you are more than 55 years of age with severe knee pain that limits your daily activities including walking, using stairs getting in and out of the chair, and difficult in walking
  • If you are more than 55 with moderate to severe pain while resting during day or night and deformity in the knee
  • If you are more than 55 years old with moderate to severe pain, which is not relieved by drugs or you are taking the drugs for a long time, which is causing side effects

Benefits of Total Knee Replacement

  • Relief of pain
  • Increased movement of the joint
  • Correction of deformity, meaning straight leg
  • More leg strength (if you do exercises regularly)
  • Improved quality of life
  • Ability to return to normal life

Things you cannot do after Total Knee Replacement

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Sporting activities, etc.

Are you fit for the operation?

A proper orthopaedic evaluation is necessary from your treating orthopaedic surgeon to give you his/her opinion. Your orthopaedic surgeon will gather information about your knee problem and general health, and then perform physical examinations to assess your general health and knee motion, strength and alignment. Investigations like x-ray, blood tests, etc. will then be done to complete the evaluation. After that, your orthopaedic surgeon will review the results and discuss whether total knee replacement would be the best method to relieve your pain and improve your knee function.

Preparation for surgery and home planning

You must inform your doctor one or two weeks before your surgery so that he can take necessary steps for your general health, like control of blood pressure, diabetes or any kidney problem, etc.

Hospital admission and stay

After your admission, doctors from our team will evaluate you again and a medicine specialist or cardiologist will take care of your hyper-tension or diabetes if you have any. Otherwise an anaesthesiologist will visit you and talk about the anaesthesia, which may be spinal or epidural anaesthesia or general anaesthesia.

Then, a suitable time of operation will be given to you. After the operation you will be in the post-operative room for some time, while your recovery from anaesthesia will be monitored. Later, depending on your condition you may be kept in ICU for observation upto 24 hours. Soon after surgery you will feel pain, but painkillers will make you comfortable.

Things to remember when you are sent home

  • Visit your doctor after 12 days of the operation for removing of sutures
  • Do not soak the wound until the stitches are removed
  • Continue the physiotherapy as directed
  • Continue medication as prescribed

After some time when you have recovered well, you need an activity program at home which should include:

  • A gradual walking program to slowly improve your mobility, initially at home and then outside
  • Specific exercises, several times a day
  • Weight control

You should do the following after surgery:

  • Participate in regular light exercise program to maintain proper strength and mobility of your knee
  • Take specific precaution to avoid fall and injuries
  • Notify your operating surgeon as soon as possible if you have symptoms of infection, severe pain, swelling or fever
  • See your orthopaedic surgeon periodically for routine follow-up, usually once a year