One of the amputating surgeries in the field of medicine is a knee replacement. It involves removing the knee joint and replacing it with a modified prosthesis. However, several modifications of this surgery have been introduced into the high-powered world of surgery, including several alternatives for knee replacement. In this article, we are going to review the several modifications and knee replacement alternatives therein.
What is Knee Replacement?
Knee replacement, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves the amputation or cutting out of a knee joint, the bones reams by a doctor, especially due to accidents or joint ailments such as arthritis. When the bone is removed, it is then replaced with a prosthetic device. Knee replacement can be partial, where selected or affected parts of the joints can be removed, such as the medial, lateral, and anterior compartments can also be removed and replaced with a modified prosthetic.
Why Should You Be looking for a Knee Replacement Alternatives?
Due to the dynamics of the human body, what works for the goose may not necessarily work for the gander. Certain post-symptoms of a knee replacement can be unbearable for most patients.
Pain After Knee Replacement.
Due to pain in the knee joint, a lot of patients embark on this old-time surgery to help reduce the pain they feel around their knee. But it is worthy of knowing that a substantial number of these patients still continue to feel pain after this audacious surgery. In a survey done by the government, 40% of patients that underwent knee replacement experienced miniature pain for over 3-4 years, while another 44% still felt some 3-5/10 degree of pain in 3-4 years. So, it is not worthy of looking in the direction of knee replacement alternatives in order to solve knee pain.
Knee Replacement Risks.
There is a risk in everything that we do, business, taking a walk, climbing a hill. Same way, certain risks exist in knee replacement which are:
- Patients become more susceptible to heart attack and stroke immediately after knee replacement surgery.
- Increased levels of metals in the blood.
- Allergic reactions to the prosthetic material.
- Possibility of infection.
- Reduced activity of the patient as they thrive to become accustomed to the new prosthesis.
Even though social media and digital marketers paint a vivid picture of beautiful seniors riding a bike, continuing in their daily activities and hobbies, but this may not be true for everyone; in a study conducted by the government, there was seldom activity by patients after knee replacement surgery. Another study showed that patients who weren’t running before a knee replacement surgery couldn’t run after the surgery. But there are always two ways to everything; some other patients also showed an increase in physical activity after their surgery.
What are Knee Replacement Alternatives?
Steroids are made up of corticosteroids and cortisone. These corticosteroids carry out an anti-inflammatory function to prevent swelling around the knee regions as well as help reduce pain. But they do have a side effect; they destroy cartilage and may not be efficient as they are thought to be. If you are considering this knee replacement alternative, you probably should bear in mind that they do not offer long term remedies. Steroid injections are viable for knee replacement needs caused by arthritis but may proffer short-termed solutions.
Viscosupplementation is also another knee replacement alternative. They are in the form of gels for the knee, also knowns as hyaluronic acid varying across different brands in the market, likes of SynVisc, OrthoVisc, Supartz, and Euflexxa. They are administered to the patient, but a quick question one would ask is if really the shots help. The variations of results all over the web show support both sides of the notion. But one peculiarity of these results is that none says that they are hurtful or damaging as the steroid injections rather that they give a better solution to knee joint arthritis patients. In my own experience, these injections are efficient only when administered a few times, after which they begin to diminish in effects. The first dose may offer relief for some time, but a dose a far-reaching as the sixth dose may not offer any remedial effect at all.
Knee Nerve Ablation
Knee Nerve ablation is another breakthrough in the surgical world. Knee Nerve Ablation involves the use of technology to carry out a process where the specialist probes the nerves around the joint and passes electrical energy that is used to ablate (destroy) them. The work of these nerves is to relay signals from that region of the knee to the brain. So this technique deadens these nerves, and as such, you don’t feel any pain till those nerves grow back. The research on this type of knee replacement alternative is only a handful. Hence, they cannot conclude on the long term results since most of the studies on this new breakthrough are in their early stages.
Orthobiologics incorporation around the knee regions helps to enhance the healing of the knew joint or reduce the consequent degradation of orthopedic tissues. Orthobiologics are also knee replacement alternatives and can be gotten from the patient as autologous or a donor as allogeneic. The two primary derivations of orthobiologics are the PRP and the BMC short for Bone Marrow Concentrate. Another derivation that is commonly used is derived from natal tissues as in amniotic or umbilical cord. Just as the nerve ablation, the research on this type of knee replacement is at its early stages.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
We mentioned PRP earlier while discussing orthobiologics. PRP’s stand for Platelet-rich plasma that can be gotten from the patient. They contain healing factors that allow them to foster cartilage repair as well as reduce inflammation and balance the chemical dynamics of the knee. A lot of studies support the efficiency of PRP as knee replacement alternatives but may not offer much help when the arthritis is severe.
PKA (Percutaneous Knee Arthroplasty)
PKA (Percutaneous Knee Arthroplasty) comes in handy for severe cases of arthritic pain. This procedure involves the injection of rich bone marrow concentrates gotten from the patient or from a donor into the lax ligaments or other affected areas such as damaged meniscus tissues and tendons. This procedure is intricate and uses an ultrasound and fluoroscopy guides as compared to other quick knee shot techniques. Research proves that this method works pretty well, even in extreme cases of knee arthritis. This procedure also produces a lasting effect for about 2-7 years before the need for repetition.
Here you go!! Knee replacement alternatives. You sure would want to consider some of the alternatives; likes of PKA, PRP, and Bone Marrow concentrates that proffers a long-lasting solution.