If you or a loved one are scheduled for knee surgery, read this before it’s too late.
By Physicians Rehabilitation
Osteoarthritis is one of the ten most disabling diseases in developed countries (WHO 2012). Worldwide estimates are that 10% of men and 18% of women aged over 60 years have symptomatic arthritis, including moderate and severe forms. It is estimated by the year 2030, 72 million Americans will be at high risk for osteoarthritis.
As the general population ages, more and more baby boomers are opting for knee replacement surgery earlier in life; the reason being is that boomers are more active than any previous generation. They want to continue playing their favorite sports, run, and dance with the same level of intensity as they are used to.
Previously, knee replacement surgeries were only performed on very old patients who were crippled with osteoarthritis and severely hindered daily activities. “Now patients in their 40’s and 50’s are experiencing an earlier onset of osteoarthritis that affects their daily lives,” says J. David Blaha, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Michigan Health System. In fact, the number of boomers opting to go under the knife for early knee replacement is growing at an alarming rate.
One major concern for orthopedic surgeons is the longevity of the knee implant. Due to the fact that most joint replacements have been performed primarily on older patients, there isn’t a lot of data to show how these implants hold up in younger people, who will engage in more activities and have them over longer periods of time.
Younger knee replacement patients may need to get a new replacement in as little as 5 to 10 years, which is a concern. “It gets more complicated with each revision,” says Michael R. Baumgaertner, M.D., professor of orthopedic surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. “Every time it has to be redone, there is more bone loss.”
What Is Knee Replacement Surgery?
A total knee replacement surgery is a medical procedure designed to replace weight-bearing surfaces of a knee joint. The surgeon cuts away bone, cartilage, and ligaments of a diseased knee joint, and replaces them with an artificial joint made of an alloy of cobalt, chrome or titanium, and a plastic compound called polyethylene. The entire surgery typically takes 2 to 3 hours without any complications. In addition, recovery from surgery is bound to take much longer.
How Long Is Recovery From Surgery?
There are several factors that influence your recovery, such as age, medical history, level of fitness and the severity of the problem. Once the surgery is complete, your doctor will keep you under observation in the hospital for around three days.
Most patients experience severe pain after knee replacement surgery. In fact, for the next two weeks or so, you’ll need to use a cane or walker in order to move about. Your activities will be kept to a minimum during this time since you cannot exert too much force on your knee. Many still experience pain during this time and must resort to using painkillers in order to find relief. The duration of pain differs for each person, but doctors claim you will find natural relief within three months of surgery with ongoing physical therapy.
How Much Does Surgery Cost?
The United States has among the highest costs in the world for knee replacement surgery. An American with no health insurance can expect to pay $45,000 – $70,000 at a typical hospital. Even with insurance, there are still costly deductible and co-insurance that must be paid.
What Are The Long Term Effects, Years After Surgery?
The following are some facts that you should consider before undergoing knee replacement surgery:
• Kneeling may be problematic. It can hurt to put weight on metal knees, even on a cushion, making activities like gardening a challenge.
• Falling or banging an artificial knee can hurt a lot more and last far longer than you might expect.
• Going down steep steps can be difficult and may require using a sideways, one-foot approach.
• Despite months of physical therapy and the passage of time, residual discomfort may still be experienced.
• Some patients require a surgical revision within two years of a replacement because of technical problems like instability or poor alignment of the new joint.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Surgery?
Infection: An infection can occur a few weeks after the surgery or even a few years later. Infections are serious complications that may require the implants to be removed followed by weeks of antibiotic treatment.
Stiffness: After surgery, your body naturally produces a scar. When the ligaments around the knee contract, the tissues around the knee joint begin to tighten up. This makes it extremely difficult for you to do things that require you to bend your knee.
Blood Clot: Blood clots are the most common complication of this type of surgery. The clots can form in the vein in your leg and pelvis after surgery. If they remain there, it is usually not much of a problem, but it is possible for them to through the heart and to the lungs. This leads to a condition known as pulmonary embolism, which is potentially fatal if not treated promptly.
Loosening: Some of the implants last longer than others, but all of them eventually wear out and loosen. This is a common problem experienced by younger patients because they live longer and usually stress the implanted joint more. The follow-up surgery to repair the implant is more complicated and will further decrease the lifespan of the implant.
It’s About MORE Than JUST Knee Pain
“I have had two knee replacements with no results! I still have pain in the knee, and it is always swollen. It is difficult to even go down a stair because I can’t bend my knee properly. It’s been almost 5 years since my last surgery, and I am still having problems with my knee to the point that I went back to my orthopedic surgeon and he said there was nothing he could do. I don’t think anyone should live with pain! I am 72 years old and am disabled due to the horrible knee pain.” -Nora B.
Knee replacements surgery is not a quick fix, and it is not without risks. Serious complications, such as blood clots and infections, can occur. In addition, the road to recovery can be difficult and time-consuming, particularly with joint replacement surgery.
If you or a loved one are considering or are scheduled for knee replacement surgery, all you have to do is call (855) 276-5989 right now and ask for your “NO-COST, NO-OBLIGATION Knee Pain Screening” During this consultation, you can get all of your questions answered in a warm and friendly environment. Once complete, you will know exactly what your treatment options are and if Viscosupplementation therapy and our specialized rehab program is right for you.
Are You A Candidate for
Knee Pain Relief Program?
• Are your knees very stiff in the morning?
• Do your knees hurt when going up or down stairs?
• Do you frequently take ibuprofen or aspirin for your knee pain?
• Do the activities you enjoy cause pain around your knees?
• Have you been told that you will need knee replacement surgery?
If you answered YES to any of these questions – give Physicians Rehabilitation a call and schedule your NO-Cost NO-Obligation knee pain screening.
Call (855) 276-5989
5668 Strand Ct. Naples, Fl. 34110
855-276-5989 | www.PhysiciansRehab.com