Knee surgery: when indicated, types and recovery

Knee surgery must be indicated by the orthopedist and is usually done when the person has pain, difficulty in moving the joint or knee deformities that cannot be corrected with conventional treatment.

Thus, according to the type of alteration presented by the person, the doctor can indicate the most appropriate type of surgery, which may be arthroscopy, arthroplasty or total prosthesis surgery, for example.

When is indicated

Knee surgery is indicated when knee pain is severe, movement is limited, there are deformations or when the change in the knee is chronic, it does not improve over time or there is no response to the treatment previously recommended. Thus, the main indications for knee surgery are:

  • Osteoarthrosis, which is characterized by friction between the bones due to wear of the cartilage, which makes the knee stiffer and there is the appearance of pain, being more common in people over 50, although it can also happen in younger people ;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints, including the knee joint, resulting in pain, joint swelling, stiffness and difficulty in moving the joint;
  • Fractures, which are usually associated with sports, but can also happen due to accidents or falls, for example;
  • Knee ligament rupture, which happens due to a sudden sudden effort, which destabilizes the joint and results in a lot of pain, being important that the treatment is established quickly.

Before performing the surgery, the orthopedist usually evaluates the person's medical history and indicates the performance of a series of tests to determine which is the best surgical procedure according to the cause of the knee change. Thus, physical examination, radiography, blood tests and magnetic resonance imaging are performed, which allows the doctor to assess the condition of bone and surrounding tissues.

Main types of knee surgery

There are different types of knee surgery that vary according to the purpose of the treatment, which can be performed to replace the joint or repair any changes seen in the exams. Some of the main types of knee surgery are:

1. Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a type of knee surgery in which the doctor uses a thin tube, with a camera at its end, to assess the structures inside the joint and correct the identified changes.

In this type of surgery, two holes are made in the front of the knee for the tube to be inserted and usually corresponds to a quick procedure and whose recovery is also fast. See how recovery after arthroscopy is.

2. Arthroplasty

Arthroplasty, in addition to visualizing the characteristics of the knee joint, the injured joint is also replaced by a prosthesis, promoting the correction of the alteration and favoring the mobility and function of the knee joint after recovery.

As a slightly more complex procedure than arthroscopy, complete recovery from arthroplasty may take a little longer and, in some cases, physical therapy may be necessary to speed up recovery and gain mobility. Find out how is physiotherapy for knee arthroplasty.

3. Total prosthetic surgery

This type of surgery is indicated when all knee structures are affected, that is, when tendons, bone and tissues have changes that interfere with knee mobility. Thus, through this type of surgery, all structures are replaced by a prosthesis, and is usually indicated for people who are older.

4. Resection surgery

In this case, the surgical procedure aims to remove a damaged part of the bone, tendon, cartilage or ligament.

How recovery should be

After knee surgery, it is important that the person follows the orthopedist's guidelines, as it is thus possible to speed up recovery and prevent the development of complications. After the surgery, it is normal for the person to feel pain and, for that, it is indicated by the doctor to use some medications that can help to relieve this symptom.

In addition, the use of drugs to thin the blood and thus prevent the appearance of blood clots may also be recommended, as well as indicating that the person performs movements with the foot and ankle immediately after the procedure to promote local blood flow. and also to prevent clots and swelling. Compression stockings may also be indicated in some cases.

It is also common for a person to undergo physical therapy sessions to stimulate knee movement, avoiding stiffness and promoting improvement. The number of sessions varies according to the type of surgery that was performed and usually starts at the hospital.

Also check out some ways to relieve knee pain: