Frequently Asked Questions
What is Knee Replacement?
The damaged knee joint is replaced with implants and restore the normal joint function, this procedure is called Knee Replacement. The knees joints can be damaged due to direct or indirect injuries and certain disease or conditions like osteoarthritis, gout, etc. Based on the patient condition the following are the types of Knee Replacement surgeries available:
- Total Knee Replacement (Unilateral or Bilateral)
- Partial Knee Replacement (unicompartmental)
- Complex or revision Knee Replacement
- Kneecap replacement or Patellofemoral arthroplasty
What are the advantages of Knee Replacement?
The advantages of Knee Replacement are the following:
- Improved quality of life of patients
- Relief from the severe pain of the joints
- Return to normal daily activities within six  weeks and may take 4 to 6 months or a year to fully recover
- Long lasting implants which may last for up to 20 years and support the patient to do daily activities without any severe pain
- Improved movement of the knee and enables the patient to walk long distances with little to no pain
What are the indications of Knee Replacement?
Knee Replacement is only considered when there are any of the following conditions:
- Damaged/deformed knee joints
- Severe joint pain which can affect your sleep and make you restless
- Joint stiffness
- Severe pain and swollen knee joints
- Unable to move your knee joint
- Individuals between the age group of 50 to 80 years
What is the preparation for Knee Replacement?
Before undergoing this surgery your doctor may advise you to follow some instructions:
- Fasting may be required before the surgery.
- Inform your doctor and anesthesiologist about your current medications.
- You may have to stop certain medications and dietary supplements before undergoing this surgery.
- Your doctor may instruct you the diet that you should be taking before and after surgery.
- Complete evaluation of knee joints with suitable techniques like MRI, X-rays, etc.
What are the steps involved in Knee Replacement?
Knee Replacement is done in the following steps:
- An anesthetic is given before starting the surgery and a catheter may be inserted.
- Vitals will be monitored by your anesthesiologist.
- An incision is made in the knee area after cleaning the surgical site with an antiseptic solution.
- Replacing the damaged knee joint with a suitable implant.
- Closing and dressing the incision with stitches or surgical staples and sterile bandages.
- A drain may be inserted at the incision site to remove the fluid which builds up.
What is the postprocedure care/recovery care for Knee Replacement?
- Suitable rehabilitation and care must be taken after the surgery to facilitate a faster and successful recovery.
- Exercises are recommended by your physical therapist to improve and strengthen knee movement.
- One should use handrails, crutches, walker until the knee is strong. You may stay in the hospital for 3 to 5 days, depending on the recovery progress.
- Blood thinners may be given to avoid blood clots and leg swelling.
- You must follow a few instructions regarding medication use, nutrition, exercise program, discharge equipment, follow-up appointments, etc.
- Your doctor may prescribe medications which help in relieving the pain like opioids, local anesthetics or NSAIDs.
- It is important to follow all the instructions given by your orthopedic surgeon for fast and better recovery after the surgery.
Who can perform Knee Replacement [Right specialist type for Knee replacement]?
Knee replacement is performed by an Orthopedic surgeon or a surgeon who is well experienced in knee replacement surgeries.
What is the cost of Knee Replacement?
The expenses for Knee Replacement may vary according to the following factors:
- Recommended lab tests.
- Doctor's fee
- Type of Knee Replacement Surgery suggested (Unilateral/Bilateral)
- Medical condition
- Hospital charges
- Type of implants/consumables
The minimum expenses in Chennai start from Rs.1,00,000.
The average charges in Chennai are Rs.2,35,814 approximately.
The maximum cost can be up to Rs.4,00,000 in Chennai.
Is Knee Replacement a major surgery or minor surgery?
Knee Replacement is the major surgery of choice when other treatments and medications are no longer effective in treating the damaged knee joints and bones.
What is the eligibility criteria for Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement is mainly indicated to individuals with conditions like:
- Avascular Necrosis (Bone wasting and damage due to the insufficient blood supply in the knee joint)
- Deformed knee joints, due to rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, Trauma or Knee injury.
- Pain and loss of cartilage in knees
- Unusual bone growth or Bone dysplasia
What is the ineligibility criteria for Knee Replacement?
The knee Replacement procedure is not recommended for the:
- Current health issues and other diseases which may complicate the surgery.
- Individuals with cognitive problems or lack physical strength etc.
- Osteoarthritis which can be treated with suitable medications.
- Overweight or obese individuals
What are the risks and complications associated with Knee Replacement?
There are few risks and complications involved in the knee replacement surgery and few of them are the following:
- Wound infection
- Bleeding and clots
- Stiff and swollen knees
- Damaged nerves
- Severe pain in the knee region
How long does it take to complete Knee Replacement?
Base on the patient condition it can take up to 3 -4 hours to complete and may take more than usual, depending on patient condition.
What is the recovery time?
Individuals can recover to do their daily activities within 6 months to 1 year.
What is the success rate of Knee Replacement?
Over 95% of Knee Replacements succeed with high patient satisfaction.
Is Knee Replacement painful?
Every surgery comes with a certain level of pain and some discomfort. You won't be experiencing pain during this process because you will be under anesthesia.
Is Knee Replacement Permanent?
The damaged knee caps will be replaced with implants permanently to restore the normal function of the knee.
What are the long-term results of Knee Replacement?
The following are the long term goal for individuals who had undergone Knee Replacement surgery:
- Improve the quality of life of the individual
- Perform daily activities without any difficulties.
- Reduction of pain associated with a damaged knee.
- Increase in the strength of the knees.
- Improve stability and the range of motion.
Can Knee Replacement be detected in future?
Yes, Knee Replacement can be detected in the future.
What are the options if Knee Replacement fails?
A revision surgery or a second Knee Replacement surgery may be required as per the doctor advice.
What are the alternatives for Knee Replacement?
Some of the alternative treatments for knee pain are the following:
- Cortisone shots at the site of inflammation
- Exercise and weight loss
- Knee injections [Hyaluronic injections] that can lubricate the knee joint
- Pain reliever creams or topical gels
- Plasma rich protein injections
- Knee osteotomy