Can i stay alone after total knee replacement surgery
Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common bone surgeries in the country. Whether you need the surgery is a decision that you and your doctor, an orthopaedic surgeon, carefully make together. More than 90% of people who have had their knees replaced see a huge improvement in pain and their ability to get around. knee surgery can help patients whose knee or knees have degenerated due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis when an injury has damaged the knee.
It is considered a routine procedure. Every year, over 100,000 knee replacement surgeries are carried out in the India. Most patients are aged between 50 and 80 years. Over 90 % of patients experience a dramatic improvement in pain levels and mobility.
What is Total Knee replacement?
Knee replacement is a kind of arthroplasty. Arthroplasty literally means “the surgical repair of a joint,” and it involves the surgical reconstruction and replacement of degenerated joints, using artificial body parts, or prosthetics. When the articular cartilage of the knee becomes damaged or worn, it becomes painful and the knee is hard to move. Instead of sliding over each other, the bones rub and crush together. With a prosthesis, the patient will feel less pain, and the knee will move properly.
What conditions may lead to total knee replacement?
Osteoarthritis: this type of arthritis is age-related, caused by the normal wear and tear of the knee joint. It mostly affects patients aged over 50 years, but younger people may have it. Osteoarthritis is caused by inflammation, breakdown, and the gradual and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Over time, the cartilage wears down and the bones rub together. To compensate, the bones often grow thicker, but this results in more friction and more pain.
Rheumatoid arthritis: also called inflammatory arthritis, the membrane around the knee joint to become thick and inflamed. Chronic inflammation damages the cartilage, causing soreness and stiffness.
Post-traumatic arthritis: this type of arthritis is due to a severe knee injury. When the bones around the knee break or the ligaments tear, this will affect the knee cartilage.
Who all should consider a total knee replacement?
Total knee replacement surgery is considered for patients whose knee joints have been damaged by either progressive arthritis, trauma, or other rare destructive diseases of the joint. The most common reason for knee replacement surgery in India is severe osteoarthritis of the knees.
Regardless of the cause of the damage to the joint, the resulting progressively increasing pain and stiffness and decreasing daily function lead the patient to consider a total knee replacement. Decisions regarding whether or when to undergo knee replacement surgery are not easy. Patients should understand the risks as well as the benefits before making these decisions about knee replacement.
Are there any restrictions for candidates?
There are no absolute age or weight restrictions for total knee replacement surgery.
Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient’s pain and disability, not age. Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are age 50 to 80, but orthopaedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Total knee replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.
Is it safe to stay alone during Total Knee replacement?
In a word, “yes.” The individual judgment of professional care planners should determine the settings for rehab, but research shows that seniors who live alone can return home safely after total knee replacements. In the India, the rate of total knee replacements has increased by 1100% (elevenfold) since 1980. Today, many of these patients with total knee replacements go straight home from the hospital. They receive nursing and physical therapy through home visits. Most patients who live alone can be safely discharged home from the hospital to recover after hip or knee replacement surgery, suggests a study in the January 17, 2018 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.
The results question the belief that patients who live alone should routinely be sent to an inpatient rehabilitation facility after total joint replacement surgery, before going home. Patients living alone also had higher rates of in-home nursing care and physical therapy. Nearly 90% of patients living alone said they would choose to be discharged and sent home again immediately after surgery. However, some of them admitted that they had problems attending to personal hygiene after doing so.
What are the instructions given by doctors after the surgery?
- To take iron supplements to aid wound healing and muscle strength
- Not to bend down and lift heavy things, at least for the first few weeks
- Not to stay standing still for long periods, as the ankles might swell
- To use crutches, a walking stick, or a walker until the knee is strong enough to take your body weight
- To use all medications according to the instructions
- To carry out the recommended exercises to encourage proper mobility
- To keep the affected leg raised on a footstool when sitting
- To avoid soaking the wound until the scar is completely healed, because of the risk of infection
- To monitor for any signs and symptoms of infections, blood clots or pulmonary embolism
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 1000,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the India. Even though it’s possible to stay alone after total replacement surgery, it’s advisable to have your friends or family around you for some help. If you do live alone and are either discharged from rehab or from the orthopaedic floor with no help available at home, perhaps a friend or neighbour can call you daily to check on your progress.
For any queries related to total knee replacement or similar orthopaedic problems, get in touch with us.