Despite the proven effectiveness of knee replacement surgery, this transformative medical procedure is often surrounded by misconceptions that deter prospective patients from considering it as a viable option. Dr. Mrinal Sharma, Head, Department of Orthopaedics, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, busts some common misconceptions around knee replacement surgery.
Knee replacement surgery can often be a life-changing solution for countless individuals suffering from chronic knee pain and limited mobility. However, despite its proven effectiveness, this transformative medical procedure is often surrounded by misconceptions that deter prospective patients from considering it as a viable option. Numerous myths and falsehoods cloud the understanding of this remarkable surgery.
Myth 1: Knee replacement surgery is very painful.
This misconception is completely incorrect. Nowadays, advanced pain management techniques, including continuous blocks and pain medication, are utilised to ensure a painless surgical experience for the patient.
Myth 2: There is a lot of pain after knee replacement surgery followed by long-term bed rest and returning to normalcy takes a lot of time.
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth. Knee replacement surgery and the post-surgery period are typically painless. In fact, patients are encouraged to walk on the day or the day after the surgery itself.
Myth 3: Knee implants work for only 10-15 years and thus, patients should wait till their later years to get them.
Age is not a determining factor when considering knee replacement surgery to alleviate pain. If you have a knee problem at age 40, doctors will not ask you to wait until you are 70. A knee replacement done at age 40 can still function for 20-25 years, and even if a repeat surgery is required, it can be comfortably performed.
Myth 4: Long-term physiotherapy and exercises are needed after a knee replacement surgery.
Modern physiotherapy is painless and highly effective. Patients often walk without support just 8-10 days post-surgery, climb stairs at 15 days, and can even resume driving after one month. At around 1.5 months post-surgery, routine work becomes possible, and within three months, patients have been able to participate in sports, swimming, and other activities they desire, with proper guidance and physiotherapy.
Myth 5: Having a stent or undergoing a bypass can make knee replacement surgery impossible.
Patients above the age of 75, or those who have had bypasses or stenting done, can still undergo knee replacement surgery after a thorough evaluation by a cardiologist. Precautions, such as stopping certain medications like blood thinners for five days before surgery, are taken to ensure a safe procedure.
Myth 6: All patients with knee pain require knee replacement surgery.
This is not true at all since only around 2 percent of patients with knee pain go on to develop arthritis and need knee replacement surgery. There are various other effective methods for managing knee pain, such as medications, physiotherapy, lifestyle changes, and regular follow-ups with your orthopaedic surgeon.
Myth 7: Patients should not go for a knee replacement surgery till their knee is completely damaged.
For patients with localized knee damage, we offer a specialized Unicondylar Knee Replacement Surgery, also known as partial knee replacement. This procedure involves replacing only the damaged part of the knee, allowing for faster recovery and early pain-free mobility. Moreover, partial knee replacements can be converted to full knee replacements if needed after 15-20 years.
In conclusion, knee replacement surgery is a proven and life-changing solution for those suffering from chronic knee pain and limited mobility. Despite the numerous myths and misconceptions surrounding the procedure, it is essential to separate fact from fiction. Modern advancements in pain management, physiotherapy, and surgical techniques have made knee replacement surgery a virtually painless and highly effective option. Age or prior medical conditions should not be deterrents; instead, individual evaluations determine candidacy. With partial knee replacements available for localized knee damage, patients can experience faster recovery and early pain-free mobility. By dispelling these misconceptions, individuals can make informed and untainted decisions before going for knee replacement surgery.