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Tags: knee | arthroplasty | benefits | pain | replacement | orthopedic | risks

Knee Arthroplasty: Benefits and Risks

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:11 AM EST

Knee arthroplasty is the medical term used for knee replacement. It is a surgery for the replacement of the joint using artificial parts called prostheses. Replacement of joint is recommended for older patients suffering from knee pain and loss of function due to arthritis. Knee replacement includes insertion of plastic or metal prostheses by an orthopedic specialist.
Replacement of the knee can be partial or total. Causes associated with arthroplasty include arthritis, trauma, disability, inflammation, infection, and increased stress. Arthroplasty is a great way of getting relief from pain and restoring functioning of an arthritic knee.
Benefits of Arthroplasty
Reduced Pain: Among its many benefits, arthroplasty helps in reducing pain in the knee. More than 90 percent of patients have found relief from pain after knee arthroplasty, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Improved Functioning of the Joint: A number of patients who've had arthroplasty experienced improved functioning of the joint. However, the results cannot be predictable. After the replacement of the knee joint, many patients can walk with ease and comfort. Some of them have even been able to ride bicycles and engage in sports.
Improved Quality of Life: With improved joint function and reduced pain, arthroplasty patients are able to live independently. It offers a number of benefits to the patients who previously found it difficult to perform their daily chores.

Risks of Arthroplasty
Risks are always present along with any surgery. Hence, there are some risks associated with arthroplasty apart from its benefits. Complications occur in 1 out of 20 cases of arthroplasty. Nevertheless, most of these minor risks can be treated. Orthopedic surgeons take appropriate safety measures before initiating any replacement of the knee joint to reduce possible risks. 
Clotting of blood is one of the risks associated with this surgery. Clotting may occur in the veins of the leg within the first few weeks of an arthroplasty surgery. This can be treated using anticoagulants and through physiotherapy and regulated physical activities like exercise or walking after a knee replacement.
Serious infections are among common risks following any surgery. An infected wound is treated through antibiotics, but if the infection is deep, it may require further surgery for the knee replacement.
Bone fracture can be one of the risks associated with replacement of an afflicted body part with the artificial part. A fracture is treated after the doctors assess the severity and location of the fracture.
Other possible risks may include bleeding in the joint, nerve damage, and dislocation of the kneecap. Weakness of the knee joint, loosening of the prosthesis, and allergic reactions to medications may be other potential risks.

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Knee arthroplasty has many benefits including reducing pain. An orthopedic specialist performs replacement with artificial body parts. Potential risks associated with the surgery can be reduced.
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:11 AM
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