To have one’s beloved god given body part replaced with a metal part is scary business and rightfully so. The very thought of undergoing a surgery like knee replacement can scare the bravest of souls. Hence, we doctors completely understand that its only human to be scared of thing we do not understand, and try to find ways to avoid or postpone a surgery. Even though knee replacement surgery has helped countless patients across the globe overcome their intense knee pain and has allowed them to lead a rather happy pain free life. Patients who have been recommended knee surgery tend to postpone their surgery for well over a year in some cases may be more.
While it is fine to weigh your options before taking a decision, it’s important to keep a few things in check. Here are some things which you should absolutely avoid or keep a check which will help prevent aggravating the knee conditions further.
1. Avoid Walking for long hours: Walking is considered to be, the best solution for most ailments of the human body; be it to lose weight, reduce stress or in the current context maintain healthy joints and bones. Hence, the first solution that comes to mind is to start the morning or evening walk regime.
However, one must not forget, if an orthopedic doctor has recommended a knee surgery, chances are that the bone of that knee joint bones and ligaments have degenerated significantly, and no amount of medicine, physiotherapy or any allied medicine can regrow that part of the knee. What patients don’t understand is that, even during normal walking the force transmitted across the knee joint is 2 to 3 times the body weight. Which implies more stress and damage to the already ailing knee joint. This stress is generally equally distributed on both the legs but as the ailing leg is not able to take the same stress it puts even more stress on the knee of the other leg. Hence, we see patients who initially only had to undergo a unilateral unicompartmental knee replacement are required to do a bilateral knee replacement, when they come back to us after some months/years. Its important that if the patient starts witnessing even mild pain in the other leg, he should visit his doctor for a check-up.
2. Be careful how you stand after Sitting or Squatting: If one is having knee pain and has been recommended knee surgery, it is because the knee is not able to take the load of day-to-day activities. When getting up from sitting or squatting position, the action puts the complete body weight on the knee joint. This extreme load can significantly aggregate the knee pain if appropriate support is not used. Hence, patients must take care that he/she is holding on to a stick or using someone’s assistance while getting up at minimise the load n the knees.
3. Lifting and carrying heavy objects will not do you any good: As highlighted that under normal walking conditions the knee joint soaks up 2-3 times the normal body weight. Well needless to say, carrying heavy weight will not do any good to your ailing knee/s. It is best to avoid activities requiring laborious jobs that add additional load to the knee joint.
4. Avoid Over exertion at all costs: If you notice that a certain activity is causing pain or is even giving the sensation of pain. It is best to stop that activity and take appropriate rest before continuing further.
5. Listen to your body: Your body will tell you when and what to do or not to do. Do us all a favour, listen to your body and do not be a hero.
6. Do regular exercise: If you are going to or if you already are postponing your surgery, it’s important that you religiously follow the knee exercises your doctors has recommended. If your doctor has not recommended one you might want to atleast ask him if you should. Exercises will help strengthen the muscles that help keep the knee joint in place and provided the load bearing capacity to knee.
I hope if you keep these simple things in mind while you are weighing your options for the knee surgery, you will have a relatively less painful journey. If you have any queries relating to your knee surgery you can always contact me on tel:093 2062 0978 or email your query at firstname.lastname@example.org.