Are you tired of your knee hurting at the smallest things? Pain can become a part of our daily life, worsening your standard of living. There can be several reasons why your knee hurts, including injuries like an ACL Tear, Sprain, or fracture; mechanical issues like dislocation; or other medical issues like arthritis. Here’s why you shouldn’t delay knee replacement surgery. These things only worsen over time due to wear and tear. Not only do they hurt your lifestyle but they can be very dangerous in the long term. Do you think you may be delaying knee replacement and if so, what is the next step?
Most people would consider knee- replacement surgery as the last resort when all other options are exhausted and nothing else can be done or more pain becomes unbearable. However, this mindset has proven to be very harmful.
A study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery discovered that postponing surgery might deprive patients of the full advantages of the procedure. According to the survey, over 90% of patients with knee osteoarthritis are waiting for the surgery for far too long. “People are waiting and waiting to have the procedure and losing the most benefit,” said Hassan Ghomrawi, Ph.D., MPH, associate professor of surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Due to persistent fear of major medical procedures and the potential risks of knee replacement, people have a tendency to highlight only the possible negatives of the surgery. What they fail to take into account are the high risks of not having the surgery. Here are some of the risks of delaying knee replacement:
1. Higher Chances of Complications
The longer a patient waits for knee surgery, the more difficult the procedure might become. When a person delays knee replacement surgery, the process might become more complicated in the following ways:
· The knee may deform and hence be more difficult to repair.
· The surgical process may take longer than expected.
· Kneecap resurfacing may be necessary.
· Options may become increasingly less.
2. Greater Health Issues
Patients who are generally healthy at the time of their knee replacement are more likely to recover faster. The longer individuals wait and let their knee problems influence them, the worse their entire health will be. For example, an inability to walk without discomfort may lead to a lack of activity and weight gain, putting more strain on the affected knee.
SET ASIDE THE FEARS
To relieve the fears of the surgery, let us understand what the surgery is all about and why you shouldn’t delay knee replacement surgery. In damaged knee joints, knee replacement surgery can help reduce discomfort and restore function. Anesthesia is required for knee replacement surgery. Your feedback and preferences assist the doctors in deciding whether to employ general anesthesia, which renders you unconscious or spinal anesthesia, which renders you awake but unable to feel pain from the waist down.
To assist avoid post-surgical infection, you will be given an intravenous antibiotic before, during, and after the surgery. You may also be given a nerve block to numb your knee. The numbness eventually fades after the operation.
The operation entails removing diseased bone and cartilage from your thigh bone, shinbone, and kneecap and replacing it with a prosthesis consisting of metal alloys, high-grade plastics, and polymers.
Your knee will be bent, exposing all surfaces of the joint. Your surgeon will pull your kneecap aside and cut away the damaged joint surfaces after making an incision about 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) long.
The surgeon installs the prosthetic joint components after prepping the joint surfaces. He or she bends and rotates your knee before sealing the incision to guarantee correct function. The procedure takes roughly two hours.
Additionally, weigh the results against the risks to determine whether you should get the surgery done. Knee replacement gives pain relief, greater mobility, and a higher quality of life for the majority of patients. Furthermore, most knee replacements are predicted to endure longer than 15 years.
Most daily activities, such as shopping and minor housekeeping, can be resumed three to six weeks after surgery. Driving is also doable after three weeks if you can bend your knee far enough to ride in a car, have sufficient muscular control to use the brakes and accelerator, and are not currently on narcotic pain drugs.
Following your recuperation, you can engage in low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, golfing, or bicycling. However, high-impact activities such as running, skiing, tennis, and contact or leaping sports should be avoided.
In lieu of that, here are some ways you further remove the risk of knee replacement:
Make plans for your rehabilitation.
You may require crutches or a walker for many weeks following the treatment, so plan ahead of time. Ensure you have transport home from the hospital and assistance with daily duties such as cooking, bathing, and washing. If you live alone, your surgeon’s team or a hospital discharge planner may be able to recommend a temporary caregiver.
Consider the following to make your house safer and simpler to manage during your recovery:
· Because climbing stairs might be challenging, create a living area on one level.
· Install a sturdy railing or safety bars in your shower or bath.
· Stairway handrails must be secure.
· Purchase a sturdy chair with a solid seat cushion and back, as well as a footstool to elevate your leg.
· If you have a low toilet, get a toilet-seat riser with arms.
· For your shower, use a sturdy bench or chair.
· Remove any stray carpets or cables.
However, rashly rushing too soon is not very beneficial either. Thus, a question is raised:
WHEN IS THE PERFECT TIME?
There are many factors that go into consideration when it comes to surgery. The older a person gets, the more probable they have various co-existing health concerns, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, which can make recovery more difficult.
Because lean muscle mass reduces with age, the physical effort of rehabilitation may appear to be more difficult than if the operation was performed earlier in life. Many patients who had knee surgery said that they wish they had done it sooner for a speedier recovery, but also to enjoy more years with less discomfort.
That said, it is not uncommon for untrained surgeons to recommend the treatment too soon. So, now you know why you shouldn’t delay knee replacement surgery but also that you shouldn’t have it too early.
The only way to know the ideal time to have the operation is to consult with an expert who takes into account joint function, discomfort, radiological examination, and age to identify the optimum time to have a knee replacement.
Knee replacement is one of the most successful surgical operations, and when done correctly, it may bring a lot of benefits in terms of pain reduction and functional rehabilitation, as well as being very cost-effective.
At Radiance Hospitals, we care about you and want you to only get the best treatment that will last a lifetime. Our experts are trained professionals who know just what is the right thing to do for you. They will walk you through the process and even after, there is always support so you are never left confused. So come down and get a consultation. And remember, with Radiance Hospitals, you are never alone.