Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is a very painful operation.
Fact: Alike all the surgery, TKR is also associated with similar degree of pain. However, there are several effective pain management modalities available to use in the post-operative period, which significantly controls the pain after the operation. These include multimodal analgesia, epidural injection, patient controlled analgesia and local infiltrative analgesia. Most of the patients after TKR experience very nominal or no pain now a days.
After TKR, one needs to do very ‘hard’ and long term physiotherapy.
Fact: Of course, knee exercises are required after the TKR. But, these are very simple exercises to strengthen the thigh muscles. These can be done by most patients, on their own, after explaining to them. Some of them, who cannot do themselves would require physiotherapist assistance, which may take only couple of weeks.
The knee replacement surgery may not be successful.
Fact: Despite TKR being one of the most successful Orthopaedic surgeries in the last 3-4 decades, people in India still see it with suspicion. It is perhaps because of their ignorance and layman’s opinions by the general public. The success rate of TKR is more than 95% in good hands and institutes. To be a successful TKR surgery, the selection of an experienced surgeon and the hospital with adequate facilities is mandatory.
TKR is an expensive operation.
Fact: The expenses related to TKR are almost similar to any other surgical procedure. Only the additional cost of artificial joint component (implant or prosthesis) is added to it. The cost of these materials has not also been regularized and reduced significantly in India in the recent pasty and hence the TKR surgery has now become affordable to most people.
Body may not accept it.
Fact: The materials used for making the artificial joint component are highly inert and are not rejected by the body. However, only a fraction of patients may have metal allergy to these components and hence specially coated implants (e.g. ‘Golden knee’) are now available at only a marginal extra cost for use. These artificial joints can now last for more than 25 years, if kept well.
Am I too old or too young to go for TKR?
Fact: TKR can be done successfully in any age, after the skeletal maturity. In considering this surgery for disabling arthritis, the biological age of the patient is considered more important than his chronological age. People in their 80s and 90s have also undergone TKR surgery quite successfully and have lived their remaining life pain free and with independence
There are too many restrictions are TKR.
Fact: The two major restrictions after TKR were not being able to sit cross legged and on Indian types of toilet. These have now been circumvented by the newer prosthesis and it is now possible to do these activities in some individuals. Apart from these restrictions, one can do almost all the activities of their daily living, without any discomfort.