Total Knee Replacement - Myths and Facts

What is a total knee replacement?

Total knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, is an orthopaedic surgical procedure where damaged knee joints are replaced with new and artificial parts. Total knee replacement is needed in medical conditions such as chronic osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or any knee injury or deformity. 

Myths and facts of total knee replacement

  1. Myth: Total knee replacement surgeries do not have a high success rate.

Fact: A total knee replacement surgery is an effective treatment for patients with affected knees. After a total knee replacement, one can perform daily activities as usual without any discomfort. Due to many advances in treatment, doctors can fix any complications that may occur during surgery. 

  1. Myth: A total knee replacement does not last for 10 years.

Fact: A total knee replacement does last long. Research shows that a 10-year implant survival rate is 96.1% and a 20-year implant survival rate is 89.7%.

  1. Myth: Not able to bend the knees or run after a total knee replacement operation.

Fact: The ability to not able to bend the knees or run after an operation may worry some patients but the orthopaedic surgeons ensure that the whole procedure before and after the operation runs smoothly without any issues. The surgeons will also ensure that the best prosthesis is applied. 

  1. Myth: Post a total knee replacement, the recovery time may take longer.

Fact: After a total knee replacement, most patients can walk within days. But it also depends on how well the patient is taking care of themselves after an operation.   

  1. Myth: Total knee replacement is only after the age of 50.

Fact: Age is not a barrier for total knee replacement. The operation can be done in any age group - children, young adults, older adults, and seniors. 

  1. Myth: It is not possible to get replacement surgeries on both knees at once. 

Fact: Getting both knees replaced at the same time has its benefits. Its benefits include a faster recovery rate and alleviate pain faster. The best orthopaedic surgeons as well recommend getting both knees replaced. 

  1. Myth: Driving after a knee replacement can be difficult and impossible. 

Fact: Many patients feel more comfortable driving after undergoing a total knee replacement as compared to earlier. Research shows that most patients begin driving within three weeks post a total knee replacement. 

  1. Myth: In a knee replacement operation, the implant is rejected as a foreign body.

Fact: The artificial joints applied in the operation are made up of inert metals and they do not react with body tissues and cause any side effects. 

  1. Myth: Postponing the surgery as much as possible is a good choice.

Fact: The more you delay the operation, the more your joints will get affected and worsen. The replaced artificial joint will add benefits to your daily life - a better and comfortable gait. 

  1. Myth: If a problem arises after the knee replacement operation, it cannot be fixed.

Fact: If there are any issues after the operation, a second surgery (revision surgery) can be done. Research shows that after the age of 70, the risk of needing a revision of patients who had a total knee replacement is about 5%.

 

Dr. Rajeev Verma

HOD And Consultant - Joint Replacement And Orthopaedics

Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, Delhi

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