What is a Knee Replacement Surgery?
Knee replacement surgery is a procedure in which the damaged knee joint is surgically replaced with an artificial joint made of metal or plastic, known as prosthesis. A knee replacement surgery is typically performed under general anaesthetic to alleviate chronic pain and improve the function of a knee joint that has been compromised due to severe arthritis, injury, or other medical conditions.
During the knee replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the damaged parts of the knee joint, including affected knee bone and cartilage, and replaces them with synthetic components. These artificial components are designed to replicate the natural structure and function of a healthy knee joint and to help you restore normal function of the knee.
When is a Knee Replacement Surgery Necessary?
The most common cause for chronic knee pain is arthritis. If your knee is severely damaged by arthritis or injury, it may be hard and painful for you to perform simple daily activities of living, such as walking or climbing stairs. In such cases, where other forms of treatment have failed, or when the injury/arthritis is too severe, Dr Siow may recommend a knee replacement surgery.
There are 2 Types of Knee Replacement Surgery offered at Providence:
1. Total Knee Replacement Surgery (Arthroplasty)
Several reasons Total Knee Replacement may be recommended;
- Severe knee pain or stiffness that limits activities such as walking, climbing stairs. It may be hard to walk for a longer distance without significant pain.
- Moderate or severe knee pain while resting.
- Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
- Knee deformity — bowing in or out of the knee
- Unable to improve knee pain with treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, and physical therapy.
- After consultation and evaluation with Dr Siow, x-rays, MRI and/or CT scans will be done to determine the extent of the damage in the knee.
- Check for availability of beds according to patient’s schedule and financial counselling will be advised (insurance queries, benefits) Stay is 3 days for Total Knee Replacement
- Blood tests, ECG and CXR will be done for patients above 55yo (hospital protocol)
- Once bed booking confirmed, patient will be reviewed by Dr Siow to sign consent form, to collect admission notes and pre-op advice will be given (fasting)
- Day of admission- directed to respective ward, assessment done by nurses, pre-op checklist by anaesthetist.
- Surgery takes about 2 hours. Dr Siow will remove the damaged cartilage and bone, and then position the new metal and plastic implants to restore the alignment and function of your knee. After the surgery, you will be moved to the recovery room, where you will remain for a few hours while your recovery from anaesthesia is monitored. After you wake up, you will be taken to your ward.
- Dr Siow will review daily until the day of discharge to ensure your recovery has no complications, such as blood clots, nerve or blood vessel damage and infections. Post operation advice and medications will be given. Follow ups are done 1 week later for wound inspection and 2 weeks later for removal of stitches.
For most people, knee replacement surgery provides pain relief, improved mobility, and a better quality of life. Most knee replacements can be expected to last at least 20 to 30 years. After recovery, you can engage in various low-impact activities, such as walking, swimming, golfing, or biking.
Following Dr Siow’s instructions after surgery and taking care to protect your knee replacement and your general health are important ways you can contribute to the final success of your surgery.
2. Partial Knee Replacement Surgery (Robotic-aided)
At Providence Orthopaedics, the surgery is conducted with the assistance of a robotic arm and is a partial knee resurfacing procedure designed to relieve the pain caused by joint degeneration due to osteoarthritis (OA). By selectively targeting the part of your knee damaged by OA, your surgeon can resurface your knee while sparing the healthy bone and ligaments surrounding it.
Partial Knee Replacement Surgery can:
- Enable surgeons to precisely resurface only the arthritic portion of the knee
- Preserve healthy tissue and bone
- Facilitate optimal implant positioning to result in a more natural feeling knee following surgery
- Result in a more rapid recovery and shorter hospital stay than traditional Total Knee Replacement surgery
A Partial Knee Replacement surgery typically has a quicker recovery time, less post-operative pain, and more natural knee function as compared to a Total Knee Replacement surgery. However, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure, as it depends on the specific condition of the knee joint.
Total Knee Replacement or Partial Knee Replacement?
Dr Siow will assess each patient's condition to determine the most appropriate surgical approach, be it a Total Knee Replacement surgery or Partial Knee Replacement surgery, to achieve the best outcomes to counter knee pain and improve knee joint function.