By Victoria Ojeme
The knee is considered a “hinge” joint because of its ability to bend and straighten like a hinged door. In reality, the knee is much more complex because the bone surfaces actually roll and glide as the knee bends. When the knee fails to function as expected, total knee replacement may become desirable.
Total knee replacement surgery is considered when all other conservative measures have failed to provide successful intervention, and may only be performed to relieve pain, improve joint stability and alignment and correct bone deformity, maximize quality of life and optimize activities of daily living.
A Replacement Specialist, at Primus International Specialty Hospital, Dr Raghvendra Sigh, explains that in a total knee and hip replacement surgery, the painful parts of the damaged knee and hip are replaced with artificial parts called Prosthesis.
“Joint replacement surgery is one of the most successful procedures in orthopedics. A joint Replacement can improve the quality of life tremendously by making the patient free of pain, deformity and physical dependence,” he stated.
Singh, in a chat with Health & Living in Abuja, observed that doctors generally try to delay joint replacement. “However in patients with advanced joint disease, joint replacement offers relief from pains and a return to normal activities. Due to osteoarthritis, you may develop joint pains that limit your daily activities such as walking, bending and use of stairs. Pain continues even while resting day and night. Stiffness in joint limits your ability to move or lift your leg. You will only get temporary relief from anti-inflammatory drugs which have harmful or unpleasant side effects.
“Ageing causes loss of muscle and bone mass. Bones lose calcium and minerals faster and become brittle, making serious injuries such as a hip and knee fracture more likely.”
The most common cause of joint pains is osteoarthritis which is a degenerative joint disorder that occurs as a result of age related wear and tear of joints. Osteoarthritis mainly affects knee and hip joints.
Diseases that can cause joint pains in younger groups are rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and similar conditions.
“Always consult a specialist in case of significant pain in the hip or knee. Other warning signals include swelling around the joints, stiffness or inability to bend or straighten knees fully, or gradually developing deformity.