Pain management for total knee replacement

Total knee replacement is one of the available treatment options when an arthritic knee causes severe pain that can be debilitating. This procedure involves the removal of damaged areas of bone and replacing them with an artificial joint. The individual can experience pain during the recovery period after the total knee replacement and the leg will feel better after the surgery.

What is total knee replacement?

It is important to note that total knee replacement involves the removal of damaged parts of the femur and tibia along with knee cartilage and replaced with a plastic or metal implant. Unlike with partial knee replacement that leaves the healthy tissues intact, this procedure removes both sides of the knee joint.

Total knee replacement

Total knee replacement is one of the available treatment options when an arthritic knee causes severe pain that can be debilitating.

Why it is needed?

Total knee replacement is typically performed on individuals who suffer from arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis involves the inflammation of the smooth surface in between the bones of the knee, thus resulting to pain and disability. Since arthritis usually takes years to progress into a severe state, many individuals who undergo knee replacement are older adults. Remember that total knee replacement is an aggressive form of treatment and usually the last resort when other treatment options failed.

Procedure

The individual is put under anesthesia for the procedure. Once the individual is sedated, the surgeon will start by creating an 8-10 inch incision in the knee. The knee cartilage will be taken away and the kneecap is resurfaced. The shinbone and thighbone will be cut and the artificial joint is inserted. The incision is sealed and a drain is left in place to allow extra fluid to drain out. The procedure typically lasts about 2 hours.

Pain

The individual will experience pain in the knee after the procedure. In most cases, the doctor will prescribe pain medications to help reduce the symptoms. To learn to manage pain after total knee replacement, sign up for first aid classes in Winnipeg today. In uncommon cases, the individual can suffer persistent pain after the procedure. Nevertheless, total knee replacement has been an effective treatment option. In most cases, the pain will steadily subside as the area heals and the knee will feel better than before the procedure.

Recovery

The individual might be required to stay in the hospital for a few days after the procedure. During this period, the individual is encouraged to move the foot and ankle as well as the knee with the help of a continuous passive motion machine. This device is designed to reduce swelling, restore functionality and improve circulation. The individual should be able to resume normal daily activities within 3-6 weeks after the procedure.

Important tips to be bear in mind

The individual should not allow the knee to become stiff by sitting for extended periods. He/she must sit in a chair that has arms so that he/she can push up every hour or more to maintain knee flexibility.

Remember that mild discomfort must be expected when kneeling but it will not harm the knee replacement. Over time, the mild pain will subside and vanish, but the overall status should be better than before the surgery was performed.

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