Hip and Knees are one of the largest and most important joints of our body, which work in tandem and enable humans to perform a range of physical activities, like running, playing and exercising. Therefore, the treatment of the disorders affecting these joints is considered crucial and involves a host of solutions, ranging from pain medications, physical therapy, less invasive surgeries to alternative treatments like acupuncture.
But when all of it fails and the severe pain starts hampering the daily life activities, the joint replacement surgeries remain the only alternative to regain the movement and functionalities of these joints.
Joint replacement for the surgical treatment of osteoarthritis is considered one of the most common and successful surgical techniques.
Just in the USA alone, 330,000 hip replacements and 600,000 knee replacements are performed every year. But there is a reason that the number of hip replacements performed in a year outnumbers the number of knee replacements by more than a factor of five.
Understanding Hip Replacements
For any orthopedic surgeon, performing a hip replacement surgery is much easier than a knee replacement surgery. In the former, a doctor can feel everything and just has to place the replaced components right into the bone.
Also, with the introduction of computer-navigated or computer-assisted minimally invasive hip replacement surgeries, it has become easier to adjust the position of the hip, making the surgeries highly accurate, with a high rate of success.
Real-time procedures show that more than 95% of patients with hip replacement surgeries experience relief from pain. Moreover, with advanced techniques, the surgeries have become less painful and the rehabilitation of the patients takes lesser time, ranging from 2-3 months.
Knee Replacements are Different
Compared to the hip, which is a simpler joint, knees are formed by a complex connection of various bones, muscles, ligaments, all coming together to balance various off-center loads.
Therefore, the knee replacement surgeries are relatively complex, as the surgeon needs to release various soft tissues like ligaments, put the components into the bones in a balanced and stable manner.
Also, the rehabilitation time is greater than that for a hip replacement, with patients taking six months to one year to recover completely.
But Knee Replacements are Equally Successful
In spite of the complexity of the knee replacement surgeries, the introduction of advanced techniques like new surgical procedures and improved prosthetic designs have made them much more effective.
Most expert orthopedic surgeons like Dr. L. Tomar use the infrared sensing tool of the computer-assisted navigation systems to perform their operation with a high level of accuracy and precision.
Current surgeries use minimal invasive procedures and involve the accurate analysis of the knee anatomy of the patient and the accurate evaluation of the bone deformities. Such detailed techniques ensure that the operation is performed without any error and leads to minimum post-operative complications.
High Success Rate of Knee Replacement Operations
Owing to these advanced procedures, the knee replacement operations, be it total knee replacement or partial knee replacement show a high success rate.
As per the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, about 90% of all the patients who undergo a knee replacement suffer from a lot less pain post-operatively. Such patients, in most cases, can get back to performing their daily activities efficiently and making the active use of their knees.
Another study by the University of Bremen found that all those patients who had undergone total knee replacement were able to engage in greater physical activities within one year of the operation.
Apart from being able to resume the normal activities, the implants that are added in the operation also show a long life, lasting over a decade. Therefore knee replacement surgeries are even being adopted by young patients suffering from osteoarthritis and other degenerative knee issues. Another study showed that 85 % of the artificial knees were functional even after two decades.
Apart from the effectiveness of the procedure, another factor that works in favor of the knee replacement technique is the minimal amount of side-effects. For instance, severe complications include infections in the knee occur in less than 2% of all the patients. The risk of forming blood clots is also low.
One study demonstrated that out of all the people being operated for total knee replacement, only 1.2% had to get admitted for blood clot formation within three months of their surgery.
Therefore, in spite of the complicated procedures, knee replacement surgeries are as effective as hip replacement and should be chosen in the case of advanced knee deformities.
- Deciding Between Total Knee Replacement and Minimally-Invasive Partial Knee Replacement
- Long Term Impacts of Arthroscopic Surgery
- What to Expect After a Joint Replacement Surgery?
- Ways to Avoid Risks Post a Knee Replacement Surgery
- Five Things to Know If You Are Planning a Hip Replacement Surgery
- The Rising Bone Health Issues in Aging Population
- Knee Replacement Advancements Leading to Better Patient Satisfaction
- Simultaneous bilateral hip replacement more satisfactory and better rehabilitation
- Knee replacement as successful as Hip replacement