Kinematic Knee Replacement Surgery
About one in four people over the age of 65 has worn joints. The most common form of arthritis in the knee joint is osteoarthritis, which is a wearing out of the cartilage layers inside the knee. This type of arthritis is a gradual wearing out process. In its end stage, the cartilage inside the knee is completely worn away and bone on bone movement begins to happen with every step. This leads to pain, stiffness, swelling and deformity.
Knee replacement surgery has a high success rate in relieving this pain from arthritis and restoring mobility. Around 95% of people who undergo knee replacement surgery are happy with the results. Based on the Gold Coast, Dr Jason Tsung specialises in knee replacement surgery.
As surgical techniques improve, implants become better and as our populations ages, knee replacement surgery is becoming more and more common. In Australia, just under 50,000 knee replacements were performed last year.
The knee is the largest joint in the body and carries almost half your body weight with every step. In a normal, healthy knee the moving parts of your knee are lined with smooth cartilage which allows easy movement. Arthritis occurs when this cartilage layer is eroded exposing the underlying bone. This smooth layer becomes rough and the joint then becomes stiff, swollen and painful. There are many causes or types of arthritis that leads to this common end-point:
This is by the far the most common arthritis in the knee. This is age related wear and tear.
- Autoimmune Arthritis
Some general autoimmune conditions erode joint cartilage. The most common form of this type of arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Post-traumatic Arthritis
An injury to the joint prematurely roughens or damages the cartilage which wears out over time. This process may happen months to years after an injury.
- Birth Defects and Growth Disorders
Structural change to the knee joint from birth leads to abnormal wearing out of the knee joint, leading to arthritis.
Do I Need A Knee Replacement?
After discussion with your doctors, the decision to have a knee replacement is yours and yours alone to make. Your doctors will always give you the options and if appropriate offer the surgery. The recommendation is usually made keeping in mind the following factors:
- Pain that has not been relieved by pain killers, physiotherapy or walking aids.
- Pain severe enough that it prevents work, walking, recreation and daily activities.
- Sleep is disturbed due to pain
- Stiff and swollen knee
- X-rays confirm the presence of arthritis
Computer Navigated Surgical Techniques
In order to maintain a high level of accuracy and consistency in component positioning and alignment Dr Tsung routinely uses a minimally invasive computer navigation system which employs GPS-like tracking technology to aid in the restoration of normal mechanical alignment.
What To Expect After Surgery
Your Hospital Stay
The first few days in hospital are a busy time with doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other hospital staff who are all there to help you. Your therapists will teach you how to get around safely, give you exercises to strengthen your knee and monitor your progress.
In most cases, the afternoon of or morning after the surgery you will take the first steps on your knee replacement with a physiotherapist. Whilst each person has a different timeline our goal is to get you home between three and five days after surgery.
For some people more intensive work is required. If this is the case you may require the expertise of a rehabilitation unit before it is safe to go home.
By the time you leave hospital, you should be progressing well in regaining your mobility and can get around safely.
Knee Replacement Recovery Timeframe
Recovery after a knee replacement takes time. Full recovery typically takes 6 to 12 months and this time varies considerably from person to person. During this time strength and flexibility should steadily improve.
Will airport scanners pick up my metal joint replacement?
A recent study has shown that 90% of all total hip and knee replacements will be detected by a typical walk through metal detector at an airport. Upper limb replacements such as shoulder, radial head and wrist replacements are less likely to set off the alarm. Metal plates and screws are also much less likely to create a problem at the airport. Implants made of titanium and chrome/cobalt alloys (common with joint replacements) tend to trigger the detectors more so than stainless steel (more commonly used for plates and screws).
What should I do at the airport?
Allow some more time at the airport to clear the screening process. Inform the security officer that you have a joint replacement before walking through the security gate. They will most likely need to perform additional tests such as passing a handheld detector wand over your body or a pat down. There is no evidence this process affects your joint replacement.
Contact Dr J Tsung
|1300 399 223|
|(07) 3041 5087|
Suite 6C Fred McKay House
42 Inland Dr, Tugun Qld 4224