How is the Knee Prosthesis surgery

The surgery for placing a prosthesis on the knee, also called knee arthroplasty, is a procedure that aims to reduce pain and correct deformities in the knee by placing an artificial piece capable of replacing the joint, being mainly recommended in case arthritis and arthrosis.

This procedure is usually indicated when there is severe impairment of the joint or when improvements cannot be achieved with the use of medications and physiotherapy sessions.

The price of knee prosthesis varies according to the type to be used. For example, for a prosthesis with cemented fixation and without replacement of the patella, the value can reach R $ 20 thousand, including hospitalization, materials and medicines, with the value of the prosthesis on average R $ 10 thousand.

How is prosthesis surgery done

Knee prosthesis surgery is performed by replacing the worn cartilage with metallic, ceramic or plastic devices, returning the patient to an aligned, painless and functioning joint. This replacement can be partial, when only some components of the joint are removed, or total, when the original joint is removed and replaced by a metallic device.

Surgery to place a knee prosthesis usually takes about 2 hours and is performed under spinal anesthesia. After the surgery, it is recommended not to get out of bed for 12 hours and, therefore, the doctor can place a bladder tube to keep the bladder empty, in order to avoid the person having to get up to use the bathroom. This probe is usually removed the next day.

The length of hospital stay is 3 to 4 days and physiotherapy can be started the day after surgery. The doctor usually recommends taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories for the first few days, and the patient may have to return to the hospital to remove the stitches 12 to 14 days after surgery.

Because it is an expensive procedure and involves joint replacement, placing the prosthesis on the knee is not recommended for people who only experience knee pain or discomfort. Surgery is only indicated when the pain does not improve with medication or physical therapy and limits the performance of daily activities, when there is stiffness in the joint, when the pain is constant and when there is deformity in the knee.

How is recovery after surgery

Recovery from knee replacement surgery can vary from 3 to 6 weeks. Depending on the case, the patient starts to move the knee 2 to 3 days after the surgery and starts walking as soon as he regains muscle control, usually guided by a physiotherapist and with the help of a walker in the first days.

Gradually it is possible to resume most of the day-to-day activities, it is only recommended to avoid some positions such as squatting or raising your knees too much. In addition, the practice of exercises with high impact or that force the knee flexion should be avoided.

See more about recovery after knee arthroplasty.

Physiotherapy after prosthesis placement

Physiotherapy for knee prosthesis must be started before surgery and resumed on the first postoperative day. The goals are to relieve pain and swelling, improve knee movements, and strengthen muscles. The program must be guided by a physical therapist and must include exercises to:

  • Strengthen the leg muscles;
  • Improve knee movements;
  • Train balance and proprioception;
  • Train how to walk, without support or using crutches;
  • Stretch the leg muscles.

After discharge from the hospital, the patient should periodically consult the orthopedic surgeon for follow-up and an X-ray to check that everything is fine. Care must also be taken, such as avoiding falls, taking light walks and performing regular physical exercises to maintain the strength and mobility of the knee, at the physiotherapy clinic or at the gym under the guidance of the physical educator.

Check out the following video for some tips to relieve knee pain: