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Understanding Knee Replacement Surgery for the Elderly

Knee surgery can be needed by anyone but it is more often perform in older people than younger people. There are many reasons for one to go for knee surgery, such as sport injuries, arthritis and pain associated with cartilage deterioration and the wearing out of bones.

When to Consider Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee surgery can be prevented sometimes and these methods should be explored first. Losing weight, medication, surgery or physical therapy can sometimes solve certain knee problems.  If none of these worked, knee replacement might be your only option. The healthier you are, the less risks there is and recovery would be sooner. People with diabetes or high blood pressure can still go for a knee replacement surgery as long as their illness is under control.

What is Knee Replacement?

Knee replacement can be done partially or as total knee replacement. During knee replacement surgery, the damaged joints get replaced with plastic or metal components, shaped to allow better motion in the knee. The operation will last around two hours for different types of knee replacement surgery. The minimal invasive procedures require shorter incisions and thus less scaring. The process is very technical and should only be performed by a highly skilled surgeon.

Recovery after Knee Replacement Surgery

Patients usually stay in the hospital for between 3 and 5 days after the surgery. During the stay, they will start their rehabilitation program immediately. A physical therapist will start working on the mobility with the patient, while the occupational therapist will assist the patient on preparing for usual daily activities such as dressing and washing.

All patients won’t recover at the same rate as certain factors would have an influence.  Strength, body weight and pain tolerance level of an individual all make a difference to the speed of the recovery.

If the doctor is not satisfied with the rate of recovery in the hospital, patients might still be able to return home after about 5 days and it can be arranged for a therapist to assist them with further sessions at home.

Some patients might need to get extra help at home during the first few weeks.  This doesn’t have to be done by a trained caregiver, but anyone that can assist with meals or helping the person to get dressed and occasionally go out.

To walk unassisted again will take up to six weeks in certain instances.  After two to four weeks the patient might be able to use a cane or walker.


Source by Jared Wright

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