If someone reaches a point where arthroplasty is required, it means that the joint surfaces have been damaged. Bones are covered with cartilage, a smooth tissue that allows effortless movement, without the bones coming into contact with each other. If cartilage is somehow damaged, then the attached bones are deformed. This is how arthritis is caused, which in its early stages can be treated with medication or collagen injections. However, if the damage spreads, arthroplasty is necessary.
Total arthroplasty can be performed on both the hip and knee as well as on the shoulder, using computer-assisted navigation and is considered the best (but also the most expensive) method of treating many diseases, taking advantage of both the ability and experience of the orthopedic surgeon and the precision offered by digital technology.
A brief presentation of the procedure of knee arthroplasty under computer-assisted surgical navigation.
The digital system used in knee arthroplasty offers the surgeon in-depth precision for the removal of the damaged bone surfaces and, taking into account each patient’s anatomy, determines both the size of the implant to be used and its perfect placement.
During arthroplasty, the computer provides the surgeon with a 3D image of the joint being operated on, offering great assistance in performing the operation with millimeter-level accuracy that wouldn’t be possible with a naked eye.
Advantages of arthroplasty
- Arthroplasty ensures that the operation will restore the damaged part immediately
- Minimal postoperative pain
- The operation can be adjusted to each patient’s individual anatomy.
- The operated joint is fully controlled regarding its behavior during the operation, allowing the surgeon to achieve excellent functional results
- The nature of the operation is such that the patient is mobilized immediately after surgery
- The operation time is reduced, lowering the probabilities of complications such as inflammation.
- Through this minimally invasive method, the surgical wound is smaller and bleeding is minimal.
Pathological symptoms of the hip requiring arthroplasty
The primary symptom is pain in the hip area, which may affect the knee. The joint becomes stiff and daily movements, such as walking, become difficult. As osteoarthritis progresses, the muscles of the hip become weaker, creating problems and difficulties in the other hip, in the waist and knee, etc.
Pathological knee symptoms that refer to arthroplasty
When knee arthroplasty is required it means that osteoarthritis has progressed and pain is acute, along with a series of symptoms that include stiffness, tingling and swelling, especially in the morning. As a consequence there is a progressive reduction of knee mobility that directly affects patient’s physical and psychological wellbeing.
Frequently Asked Questions about Knee and Hip Arthroplasty
What kind of anesthesia is needed?
There are three types of anesthesia, general, spinal and epidural. The anesthesiologist along with the surgeon will co-decide on the appropriate anesthesia.
How long does the operation take?
The duration of the surgery together with the anesthesia and waking up process does not exceed 2 hours in total.
When does the patient get up and walk after the surgery?
As soon as the anesthesia wears off, the physiotherapist helps the patient walk.
How long does the hospitalization last?
The patient can return home after 24 hours. If patient remains for more time, this will be due to coexisting pathological problems that require postoperative follow-up.
What is the postoperative follow-up?
The patient immediately receives kinesiotherapy treatment under the supervision of a physiotherapist and of course during the treatment the specialized medical team and the doctor himself closely monitor the patient.
What are the postoperative instructions?
Before being discharged the patient receives detailed instructions regarding the medication and the physiotherapy program.
What are the possible complications after total arthroplasty?
Modern techniques in arthroplasty have significantly eliminated any complications. Perhaps the most realistic risk is the formation of blood clots, but even this risk is very small with the help of modern anticoagulants. Another complication, fortunately very rare, is the infection of the implant. To avoid this, surgeons take all the necessary precautions such as administration of antibiotics.
What determines the performance of the implant?
The patient after arthroplasty is completely relieved from pain and mobility is significantly improved. The implant used is efficient and long-lived, as long as it is selected taking into account specific factors (patient’s physical condition, age, weight, level of physical activity).
What is the cost of total hip-knee arthroplasty?
The cost is determined by many factors, about which your doctor will inform you. The nature of the operation, which is minimally invasive and does not require long-term hospitalization, certainly reduces the cost.