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Knee or Hip Surgery

What if I need surgery?

The good news is surgery today is significantly less invasive than in the past. Surgeons have developed tools and techniques such as arthroscopes which allow them to make minimal incisions and decrease recovery time. There are still circumstances where open surgery is required however and this shouldn’t be a concern either. The most invasive procedure for the hip or knee is a full replacement for which there is an astounding success rates of 99.65% and 99.96% respectively. In addition to this modern recovery programs encourage accelerated recovery times so surgery should not be seen as a significant obstacle.

How to prepare

If your doctor has decided that surgery is the best course of action for you condition then they will explain the procedure and risks associated with it to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions but trust your doctor’s advice. It is natural to be nervous but many of the procedures related to knee and hip joints are well established and have high success rates with patients returning to normal or better activity afterward. You will want to be as healthy as possible before your procedure. This is a great opportunity to adapt your eating and exercise habits. This will help your body gain the needed nutrients and strength for recovery. Before the surgery take the time to collect the things you will need afterward. It is helpful to prepare extra meals, stock your fridge, and you may want to organise someone to help take you home and help you immediately following the procedure.

Avoid aspirin or similar drugs that affect blood clotting five to seven days before surgery. Make sure your physician is familiar with any and all medication you consume as it will inform their process. You will likely be asked to abstain from food and or drink for 12 or more hours before the surgery as well depending on the procedure.

Types of Surgery

1. Arthroscopy
2. Joint Resurfacing
3. Osteotomy
4. Synovectomy
5. Total Joint Replacement
1. Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy Explained

Before Arthroscopy Surgery

After Arthroscopy Surgery

Arthroscopy Is a surgery intended to fix tears in the soft tissue around the knee or hip and remove both the damaged and freefloating cartilage pieces. The surgeon inserts a fiberoptic video camera through a small incision which allows the surgeon to see inside the joints without making a large incision. A number of conditions are treated with Arthroscopy such as:

  • Bone spurs or loose bone fragments
  • Damaged or torn cartilage, especially the meniscal cartilage
  • Inflamed joint lining, such as the synovial membrane
  • Joint infections
  • Torn ligaments or tendons
  • Scarring or tissue overgrowth within joints
  • Damaged joint surfaces or softening of the articular cartilage known as Chondromalacia
  • Abnormal alignment or instability of the kneecap

After Surgery
After knee arthroscopy there will be swelling around the knee, which can take anywhere from 7–15 days to completely settle. It is important to wait until there is no swelling before doing any serious exercise or extensive walking, because the knee will not be fully stable; extensive exercise may cause pain and in some cases cause the knee to swell more.

At Home
Many patients can return home the same day or the next morning after surgery. The dressing will be need to be kept dry however in one to two weeks the wound should begin healing. Your surgeon will advise you on the timeline you can expect to return to your normal activities however following their advice and regularly performing the exercises for rehabilitation. You can begin using the EZMEND as soon as your doctor says it is ok to begin light rehabilitative exercises. 

When to Seek Medical Advice
Complications are rare however if there is severe or increasing pain in the joint, swelling, discolour or discharge from the wound, numbness or tingling or you have a high temperature you should contact your physician.

2. Joint Resurfacing

Hip Joint Resurfacing

3d image of a resurfaced knee joint where metal has replaced the cartilage

Joint Resurfacing or Unicompartmental surgery is a procedure by which one of the three knee compartments is replaced with an implant. Either the medial (inside), lateral (outside) or patellofemoral (front) compartment is replaced. Joint resurfacing of the hip can also occur where the hip socket is replaced with a metal cup, and the damaged hip ball is then reshaped and capped with a metal, domeshaped prosthesis.

After Surgery
To prevent the joint from stiffening you operative knee placed in a continuous passive motion machine. There will be some discomfort however the hospital staff will provide you with medication as needed to help control the pain and swelling. The incision will start to close within six days. You will likely meet with a physiotherapist to help you become more comfortable on your new knee.

At Home
The pain and swelling in your knee will begin to subside over two to three weeks. To help with this you should ice your knee from 20-30 minutes a few times a day, keep it elevated as much as possible, as perform range of motion exercises. crutches or a cane may help you for the first couple of weeks while you regain strength in your knee. You can begin using the EZMEND as soon as your doctor says it is ok to begin light rehabilitative exercises. 

When to Seek Medical Advice

Complications are rare however if you notice bleeding, excessive swelling, or a high temperature you should contact your physician. Osteotomy involves cutting and removing bone or adding a wedge of bone near a damaged joint. In the knee this surgery is intended to shift weight from an area damaged by arthritis to an undamaged area. In the hip this procedure is intended to correct misalignment that occurs in early life.

3. Osteotomy

Osteotomy Explained

After Surgery
Depending on the complexity of the surgery you will likely stay in hospital to recover a night or two. You will need crutches for approximately two months for you bone to heal properly. Occasionally a brace is used to support the bone while it heals. Rehabilitation efforts may take as long as six months as will include exercises to strengthen your thigh muscles, increase your range of motion, and improve your balance.

At Home
Try not to put any weight on the affected knee at first but by 10 to 12 weeks you should be able to apply your full weight again. Physiotherapy should begin immediately even when you can not apply much or any weight. EZMEND is an excellent addition to your physio regime because it will allow you to begin stretching the joint without applying much weight in a controlled manner.

When to Seek Medical Advice
Complications are rare however if you notice increasing pain, excessive swelling, or a high temperature you should contact your physician. If you suffer a serious fall or torque your leg within the first two months of surgery you may jeopardize healing. Synovectomy is a common procedure among people with inflammatory arthritis. The lining of the joints, or the synovium, can be inflamed or grow to much which damages the surrounding cartilage and joints. A Surgeon remove most or all of the affected synovium during this procedure. Today this is typically done via anthrocope meaning minimal

4. Synovectomy

After Surgery
Your knee will be immobilized in a removable cast immediately following the surgery and physical therapy begins after one or two days. You can remove the dressing on the first day after surgery and replace with bandaids because of minimal incisions caused by arthroscopic surgery. On the second day you may shower and apply bandaids once more. You will prescribed medication to help with any pain or discomfort after the operation. Remember some swelling is normal.

At Home
You can put as much weight as you are comfortable with on the recovering knee and may find a cane useful. Over the following weeks the pain will subside and you will become more confident on the operative limb. While the procedure is minimally invasive you should still undertake rehabilitative measures including exercise to promote range of motion and strengthen the surrounding muscles. EZMEND is an excellent addition to your physio regime because it will allow you to begin stretching the joint as early as possible without applying much weight in a controlled manner.

When to Seek Medical Advice
Complications are rare however if you notice bleeding, excessive swelling, or a high temperature you should contact your physician. Total Joint Replacement is a procedure, which completely replaces the damaged joint with an implant that mimics the motion of the actual joint. The artificial joint is made from combinations of metal, plastic or ceramic components.

5. Total Joint Replacement

an artificial joint where the femural head has been replaced with a metal ball joint connection for total joint replacement

After Surgery
For the first four to six weeks after the operation you will require crutches or a walker to help support you. You should be up quickly however you should avoid twisting at the hip, bending more than a 90* angle, crossing your legs, low chairs initially. Most people will be able to resume normal activity within two to three months. Most patients are allowed to go home within three to five days.

At Home
Most patients will experience temporary pain in the replaced joint because the surrounding muscles are weak and your body is adjusted to the new joint.

Exercise is important to help rebuild those muscles. You will work with a physiotherapist to help rehabilitate the joint. Following their direction you can utilize EZMEND to help with recovery. The controlled gentle motion will allow you to exercise the joint with placing excessive pressure on it.

When to Seek Medical Advice
Complications are rare however if your pain increases after surgery speak to your physician. The first few weeks are critical for recovery so be careful to avoid falls; take care on stairs, in the bathroom, and the kitchen. If you do fall contact your physician.

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