What is Knee Arthroplasty? Types, Surgery & Recovery

“Everyone knows about knee replacement. Ask them about knee arthroplasty and they will draw a blank. What they do not realise is that both refer to the same procedure”, says Dr. Kaushik Patel, one of the best knee replacement surgeons in Surat.

Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure that involves either resurfacing the bones to restore a joint function or taking out the damaged portion of the joint and replacing it with an artificial one. The artificial joint is referred to as a prosthetic.

For different joints of the body different kinds of arthroplasties are performed such as the knee, the hip, the elbow, or the ankle. In the modern surgical world, arthroplasty is more commonly referred to as the surgical reconstruction, correction, replacement, or replacement of the joint.

“However, the medical world has advanced to include techniques that are minimally invasive methods of joint replacements, including robotic knee joint replacement. It is wise to check with your doctor which method he prefers to use for your joints”, explains Dr Kaushik Patel. In his journey of more than two decades of being one of the best joint replacement surgeons in Surat, he has encountered various patients who are confused about the terms being used interchangeably and are not clear about the one suitable for them.

If you too are confused about these, here are the answers for a few FAQs as answered by Dr. Kaushik Patel. Let’s check them out.

What are the different types of arthroplasty surgery?

Arthroplasty is a joint replacement surgery. It can be performed for most of the joints in our body such as the knee, hips, shoulder, ankle, elbow, or any other damaged joint. However, it is the knee and hip replacement surgeries that are the most common.

Different types of arthroplasties can also be classified as total or partial, depending on the severity of the damage.

A total arthroplasty refers to the complete removal of the damaged portion of the joint and replacing it with an implant. Total Knee Replacements are also known as TKRs in shortened medical terms.

A partial arthroplasty refers to the removal of only a part of the joint that is damaged and is replaced by an implant. The rest of the joint is left as it is.

Although, a patient himself will not be able to decide whether a total or partial arthroplasty is required. Consulting one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in Surat for full evaluation is the best route.

How long does it take to recover from knee arthroplasty?

Recovery time varies from patient to patient. Factors such as the type of joint being replaced, age, health history, the severity of the damage, and discipline in following post-surgery instructions, contribute to the recovery time significantly.

The recovery process can be broken down into different stages:

  • Patients go home after a few days of hospitalization. Expect some pain and swelling near the site of replacement
  • Rehabilitation treatments start in 7 to 10 days to strengthen the muscles and improve the mobility of the joint. Rehabilitation includes physical therapy and muscle strengthening exercises
  • Surgical recovery from knee arthroplasty takes around 6 to 8 weeks
  • Complete recovery takes around 6 to 9 months

How do robots help in knee arthroplasty?

Contrary to the perception, robots do not perform surgery. The surgeon is assisted with a robotic arm while performing the surgery. During the consultation visits before the surgery, the doctor takes the necessary details of the joint to be replaced with the help of the robotic surgical system. He plans the surgery to the smallest detail and is ready with options for contingencies. The details are updated in the robotic surgical system and help the robotic arm in maneuvering the tiniest angle of the joint leading to utmost precision.

Is robotic knee replacement better than traditional knee replacement surgery?

Both surgeries aim at reducing pain and improving the overall mobility of the joint. However, before deciding on either of them some points should be taken into account.

  • While traditional knee joint replacement surgery requires an incision of about 8 to 12 inches long, robotic knee replacement surgery requires a small incision of about 3 to 6 inches.
  • The robotic knee replacement surgery is minimally invasive (since the surgeon accesses the damaged region through a small incision) causing less blood loss and a faster recovery period than the traditional knee replacement surgery.
  • Robotic knee replacement surgery reduces the margin of error involved in knee replacement surgery. It takes precise measurements of the damaged joints of the body giving better alignment to the prosthetic and can navigate with ease through the smallest corners than the traditional surgery where the surgeon relies solely on his experience. This precision and alignment give a more desirable outcome to the patients in terms of better mobility, flexibility and better quality of life.

In conclusion, knee arthroplasty is a viable option for individuals with severe knee damage or osteoarthritis. It can significantly improve pain and mobility, allowing patients to return to their daily activities and enjoy an improved quality of life. However, it is important to weigh the potential risks and benefits with a qualified orthopaedic surgeon in surat and carefully follow post-surgery instructions for optimal recovery.