• 21 SEP 17
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    Benefits/ risks of knee replacement surgery

    Benefits/ risks of knee replacement surgery

    When medications, exercises, and physical therapies fail to manage and control the chronic pain of arthritis, then people started to think for another option. They feel that now the time has come and they should go for surgery. The decision to take surgery is really a difficult one. It is not easy to live with the chronic pain of arthritis. People who wanted to improve the quality of life and get rid of the pain completely go for knee replacement surgery. The people who have severe damage in their knee joints along with progressive pain and impaired functioning of the joints undergo total knee replacement surgery. Knee replacement surgery is a surgical procedure where damaged part of the knee is removed with plastic or metal parts or complete knee is replaced with an artificial joint. The main reason behind this knee replacement surgery is the failure of non-operative treatment methods to treat the symptoms of arthritis. To improve the quality of life, people usually go for knee replacement surgery. Knee replacement surgery reduces the pain and increases mobility. Though, the fact should not be forgotten that the surgery is always associated with health complications. This knee replacement surgery where on one part comes with a lot of benefits to the patients but in another part, there is a huge list of risks associated with it.


    The benefits of knee replacement surgery are enlisted below:

    1. Reduces pain: Knee replacement surgery relief the symptoms of arthritis, especially the chronic pain. This chronic pain limits the life of patients and intervenes with their daily activities such as walking, sitting, running, going in and out, etc. Thus, after knee replacement patients get huge relief from the pain.
    2. Deformity: Knee replacement surgery also helps to remove the deformities of joints also. Deformities occur when there is any type of injury in the past. This deformity if not treated well on time results into pain and ultimately arthritis. With the help of the surgery, this deformity can be removed once and for all.
    3. Increases mobility: Knee replacement surgery increases the mobility of the person. After getting the surgery he can perform his daily activities which were earlier ruined by the chronic pain. It helps financially also as after surgery they can go for their work on daily basis. The increase in mobility makes the person active and reduces the risk of getting obese.
    4. Removes stiffness: Stiffness makes the patient fatigue and ultimately results in weight gain and other associated complications. One of the benefits of knee replacement surgery is that it removes the stiffness and increases the flexibility of the joints.
    5. Improves the quality of life: The best part for which people undergo knee replacement surgery is that it improves the overall quality of life. It adds years to the life. It not only ends the years of chronic pain but also makes them active. There are many limitations of arthritis which affects the quality of life but knee replacement is the ultimate solution found by many patients to revive their quality of life.



    Besides, the benefits of knee replacement surgery the risk associated with cannot be neglected. This surgery comes with risks and complications too. The risks and complications of surgery depend on the age of patient and health condition. It is seen that the younger patients who don’t have any health problems are at lower risk of developing a complication.

     The risks associated with knee replacement surgery are enlisted below:

    1. Blood clotting: After surgery formation of blood clots in deep veins of the legs takes place and which can result in pain and swelling. This happens because after surgery, to stop the bleeding and to close the wound, stimulation of clotting process takes place. Typically blood clotting occurs within two weeks after surgery but it can also take place with an hour after surgery also. Blood clots form in the leg are of less concern but the clot which reaches the heart can cause severe health complications. To prevent this process we can use blood thinning medications or techniques to improve the circulation of the blood.
    2. Pulmonary embolism: This situation occurs when blood clots reach to the lungs resulting in chest pain and breathlessness. However, this condition is seen in a very small number of cases. This can be treated by using blood thinning medications and oxygen therapy.
    3. Infection: The risk of getting an infection after surgery is very low. This can be treated by using antibiotics.
    4. Bone fracture: Fracture in the bone around the joint which has been replaced through surgery is seen sometimes later. This happens in the people with weak bones and risk of breakdown increases.
    5. Pain and stiffness: In some patients after months of surgery pain and stiffness starts. This can be fixed by another surgery or by doing slow and steady exercises.
    6. Damage to nerves or arteries: There is a risk that after surgery injuries to arteries, tissues or nerves may occur. This is seen in a small number of cases and can be corrected by the surgery only.


    All in all, we can say that surgery always comes with some pros and cons. We should have a thorough knowledge of risks related to surgery before we go for any surgery. Life after surgery may change but it may give you long-term complications also. Although, such type of risks and complications can be minimized by self-management. Because only getting surgery is not enough to increase the life. But we need to make some modifications in our living standards also. It is seen that knee surgeries are not universally successful. Around 20% of people you undergo knee replacement surgery started facing some problems after few months only. So to get the complete benefits of knee replacement surgery we need to follow some self-management techniques also. Then only the long-term benefits will be outweighed by short-term risks and we can add a number of years to our life.

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