Knee Replacement 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.
Who needs Knee Replacement Surgery?
We very commonly see elderly ladies walking with a sway to one or either side with knees bowing (the gap between knees increases as a result of genu varum deformity). The Gait (walking pattern) is moderate to severely affected. Severe pain, disability to perform personal care activities owing to knee problems, instability and severely injured knee in young adults are common indications for knee replacement.
What is knee replacement surgery?
A severely affected knee joint that doesn’t respond to other lines of treatment is the ideal case for Knee replacement or knee arthroplasty. In this surgical procedure, the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint are replaced with a metallic prosthesis. It is most commonly performed in osteoarthritis patients. Other conditions that affect knees such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis may also need to undergo the surgery if the knee is severely affected.
In this surgery, the diseased or damaged joint surfaces are replaced with durable metal and plastic components matching the knee make-up to allow smooth continuous, and pain-free movement. This surgery has two variants depending upon the area of knee involved-
- Partial knee replacement– where one segment/ area of the knee joint is replaced;
- Total knee replacement (TKR) – complete knee joint is removed.
Often both knees are almost equally affected by the disease but it is not true in every case. In India, bilateral (both) total knee replacement (TKR) is more common.
Why knee joint is most commonly replaced joint?
Wear and tear of any joint are common with aging, but, the knee being one of the exposed joints and weight-bearing joint as well, injuries are very common in this joint leading to derailment of the joint. Rate of deterioration increases rapidly causing knee osteoarthritis changes.
So we can conclude, knee injuries, muscle weakness because of a sedentary lifestyle and higher body weights can lead to increased deterioration of the knee and if pain and disability are debilitating enough makes it a favorable case for knee replacement.
Role of a physiotherapist in Total Knee Replacement?
Pre Operative Physiotherapy
Pre-operative physiotherapy helps patients gain strength and range of motion in their knees and surrounding muscles. Overall strength and endurance increase making the patient tolerate the surgery better. Studies show that patients who undergo pre-operative physiotherapy recovers faster and post-operative physiotherapy expenses and duration is reduced considerably.
Post Operative Physiotherapy
Post-surgery many patients feel that their decision to opt for a total knee replacement was a wrong decision, but with physiotherapy, the patients start to feel much better within a few weeks.
Physiotherapy post-surgery is important to regain full knee range of motion, strength, and day to day function.
Return to normal Activity Post-Total Knee Replacement
Post TKR, a patient can return to most of the normal day to day life, except high impact sporting activity.
To understand better how we provide rehab to our post TKR patient get in touch with us.
One can talk to several of our clients who have benefitted from post TKR physiotherapy from the Pain-Free Physiotherapy clinic in the past.