What are the signs that you need a knee replacement?
Knee arthritis may develop over time and make it difficult for you to carry your daily tasks in a normal manner. By the time you experience difficulty, the damage may already be done to the knee. Important signs that may indicate that you need a knee replacement are:
1. Chronic pain – The pain in the knee may come and go and affect you in different ways. The pain need not always be severe or sharp. If you experience any amount of pain after doing any physical activity or walking even the shortest distance, it is a warning that something is wrong with your knee and that you may need a knee replacement. Other times, the pain could be so severe that it prevents you from falling asleep.
2. Limited movement – If you have difficulty sitting down or if your knee refuses to bend, it is a common indication that you need a knee replacement. Seizing the joint during movement may also be indicative of damage or degeneration of the bone fragment of the knee.
3. Limitations in lifetsyle – Whether you for a morning or simply take a stroll in the garden, if you notice limitations in the ability of your movement, it is a cause of concern. Before the knee deteriorates and brings your lifestyle activities to a halt, you should seek advice from an orthopedic doctor.
Anatomy of the knee
The knee consists of two long bones that are held together by ligaments, muscles and tendons. The end of each bone is covered by a cartilage layer that protects the knee. There are 2 groups of muscles involved in the knee – the quadriceps and the hamstring muscles.
The knee consists of:
- Tibia – The shin bone or the larger bone of the leg
- Femur – The upper leg bone
- Patella – The kneecap
- Cartilage – Tissue that protects the surface of the knee bone
- Ligament – The connective tissue that surrounds the knee joint
- Tendon – Teh connective tissue that connects the knee bones and the muscles
- Meniscus – The curved part of the cartilage that protects the knee joint
How to prepare for knee replacement surgery?
- Before the surgery, you will have a thorough consultation with the doctor. You can discuss everything about your condition with the doctor.
- The orthopedic surgeon may perform a complete physical examination to ensure that you are fit for the surgery.
- If you are sensitive or allergic to any medications, inform the doctor.
- If you have a history of any underlying disease or bleeding disorders, it is important for you to stop taking the medications immediately.
- If you are pregnant, inform your doctor.
- The surgeon may ask you to stop eating anything for at least 8 hours before the surgery.
- Arrange someone to take you to the hospital on the day of the surgery and also accompany you while returning back from the hospital.