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General Practice 2023

Knee surgery: when é indicated, types and recoveryção

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Knee surgery: when é indicated, types and recoveryção
Knee surgery: when é indicated, types and recoveryção

Knee surgery must be indicated by the orthopedist and is usually performed when the person has pain, difficulty moving the joint or knee deformities that cannot be corrected with conventional treatment.

Thus, according to the type of alteration presented by the person, the orthopedist can indicate the most appropriate type of surgery, which may be arthroscopy, arthroplasty or correction of the leg axis, for example.


When is indicated

Knee surgery is indicated when knee pain is severe, movement is limited, there is deformity, or when the knee change is chronic, does not improve over time, or does not respond to previously recommended treatment. Thus, the main indications for knee surgery are:

  • Osteoarthrosis, which is characterized by friction between bones due to cartilage wear, which makes the knee stiffer and causes pain, being more common in people from the age of 50, although it can also happen to younger people;
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that affects the joints, including the knee joint, resulting in pain, joint swelling, stiffness, and difficulty moving the joint;
  • Fractures, which are normally associated with performing sports, but can also happen due to accidents or falls, for example;
  • Rupture of the knee ligament, which happens due to a great sudden effort, which ends up destabilizing the joint and results in a lot of pain, it is important that the treatment is established quickly,
  • Meniscus injury, which can occur due to physical activity or even degeneration of this structure;
  • Knee instability, in which the knee "sticks" out of place.

Before performing the surgery, the orthopedist usually evaluates the person's medical history and recommends carrying out a series of tests to define the best surgical procedure according to the cause of the knee alteration. Thus, physical examination, radiography, blood tests and MRI are performed, which allow the doctor to assess the condition of the bone and nearby tissues.

Main types of knee surgery

There are different types of knee surgery that vary according to the purpose of treatment, and can be performed to replace the joint or repair any changes seen in the exams. Some of the main types of knee surgery are:

1. Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a type of knee surgery in which the doctor uses a thin tube, with a camera at its end, to evaluate the structures inside the joint and correct the identified changes.

In this type of surgery, two holes are drilled in front of the knee so that the tube can be introduced and normally corresponds to a quick procedure and whose recovery is also fast. See what recovery after arthroscopy looks like.

2. Arthroplasty

Arthroplasty corresponds to partial or total knee replacement and is the last line of treatment for knee changes. It is usually indicated when other treatments recommended by the orthopedist have not improved the person's quality of life.

3. Resection surgery

In this case, the surgical procedure aims to remove a part of the bone, tendon, cartilage or ligament that is damaged.

What recovery should look like

After knee surgery, it is important that the person follows the orthopedist's guidelines, as it is possible to accelerate recovery and avoid the development of complications. After surgery, it is normal for the person to feel pain and, for this, the orthopedist recommends the use of analgesics that can help relieve this symptom.

In addition, the use of medications to thin the blood and thus prevent the appearance of clots may also be recommended, as well as indicating that the person performs foot and ankle movements right after the procedure to favor local blood flow and also prevent clot formation and swelling. The use of compression stockings may also be indicated, in some cases.

It is also common for the person to perform physiotherapy sessions to stimulate knee movement, avoiding stiffness and promoting improvement. The number of sessions varies according to the type of surgery performed and usually starts in the hospital.

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