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Question : Who is an ideal candidate for knee or hip replacement?
Answer : Knee arthroplasty or hip replacement surgery is performed usually on patients who have exhausted all non-surgical conservative measures including anti-inflammatory drugs, walkers, canes and shoe inserts. However, people below 50 years or of younger age may also require surgical treatment in case they are suffering from chronic joint ailments or have sustained a trauma.
Question : Are there alternate options to joint replacement surgery?
Answer : A joint replacement surgery is performed to replace the damaged or worn-out surfaces of a joint with artificial implants. There are a number of procedures available as being alternative to a TKR or THR surgery. Though hip replacement surgery is a standard treatment for patients, a hip resurfacing surgery is available as an alternative option. In a hip resurfacing surgery, the implants are of smaller size and less amount of bone is removed. Similarly, a tibial osteotomy is available as an alternative to knee replacement surgery. Though tibial osteotomy relieves pain due to arthritis of knee, it is not recommended for all patients. Depending on the severity of the ailment, the surgeon may also suggest non-surgical treatment options like arthroscopy, cartilage cell transplantation, osteodonics etc.
Question : Does the surgery involve risks?
Answer : With state-of-the-art facilities, cutting edge technology and advanced diagnostic tools, orthopaedic surgeries have become less traumatic and more effective. An accomplished surgery depends on accuracy of measurements, carefully guided pre-operative readiness and post-operative rehabilitation.
Question : What is the amount of blood required for transfusion?
Answer : Yes, you may require blood for transfusion during surgery. Usually, one to two units of whole blood is needed. The quantity of blood depends on pre-operative haemoglobin percentage.
Question : What is the period of hospitalisation after surgery?
Answer : After a Total Knee or hip Replacement surgery, the patient will be hospitalized for a week. Hospitalization is aimed at providing patients pain relief, anticoagulants and early mobilization.
Question : How long does it take to restore normal health?
Answer : The rate of recuperation depends on the effectiveness of post-operative rehabilitation. Due to good bone quality and bone density, younger people show a faster rate of recuperation. On an average, patients with a knee replacement surgery would require a month to recuperate whereas patients with a hip replacement surgery may need around 2-3 months to recuperate.
Question : Are diabetic patients eligible for the surgery?
Answer : Many of the patients who opt for a knee or hip replacement surgery are diabetic. Before the surgery is performed, the sugar level of the patient is brought within normal levels. Wound recovery is also good in well-controlled diabetes. The patient will be operated on once the diabetic control is achieved.
Question : How do joint replacements benefit people?
Answer : The purpose of the surgical operation is to allow you to retrieve mobility. After a joint replacement, you can indulge in all non-impact sports activities. The surgeon will provide you with essential tips so that the life of the implants is not affected.
Question : What is the lifespan of joint implants?
Answer : In people aged 60 years or above, the longevity of a joint prostheses is a lifetime. However, in younger people, the implants may wear out after a span of 15-20 years. If prostheses wear out, a revision replacement surgery can be easily done without removing all the components of the previously operated joint.
Question : When should a patient consider spine surgery?
Answer : Surgery is rarely an initial treatment for curing spinal ailments, whether in the neck or the back. But if an individual has exhausted all means of non-operative treatment and the condition only seems to worsen over a period of 6-12 months, a spinal surgery can be recommended. Surgical treatments of the spine proves beneficial for patients suffering from specific conditions like spinal stenosis, sciatica, spondylolisthesis or degenerative scoliosis.
Question : Who is the potential candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS)?
Answer : In most cases of surgical spine treatment, minimally invasive surgery can be performed on patients. However, a standard open treatment may be required under some specific conditions - high degree scoliosis, tumors and some infections. After proper diagnosis of the patient's condition, the surgeon will recommend the best suited treatment.
Question : How long will be the hospitalisation period after surgery?
Answer : As compared to standard open spine surgery, a minimally invasive spine surgery reduces the span of hospitalisation after surgery by one half. A typical endoscopic discectomy surgery can be performed in the same day and the patient can leave the hospital shortly after the surgery the same day. Patients with lumbar fusion surgery can go home within 2-3 days after the operation.
Question : Are there risks associated with spinal surgery?
Answer : Any surgical procedure can be associated with risks. A spine surgery may involve risks including inter operative complications, infection, bleeding, hardware failure etc.
Question : How long is the recuperation?
Answer : Most of the patients are able to move and walk within 24 hours of the surgery. Though the activities are limited to walking and normal day-to-day activities. After 6 weeks, patients are required to follow a physical exercise program for rapid strength and recovery. The patient can gradually begin to participate in low impact sports activities by 3 months.
Question : Does the patient need to wear a brace?
Answer : Braces are only meant to provide comfort to the patient. Minimally invasive surgeries do not necessarily require the patient to wear a brace, as well as after some surgeries,specialised implants serve as an internal brace. Wearing braces in the first and second weeks can improve pain.
Question : Is an MRI required if the patient is suffering from pain?
Answer : Whether or not an MRI is required can only be determined by the physician.. Usually, an MRI is required for patients with failed conservative therapy, persistent pain in the neck, shoulder or arms or weakness in the arms; or similar problems occurring in legs.
Question : What is the success rate of a spine surgery?
Answer : In comparison to standard open surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery allows rapid recovery and the patient can return to work soon after. Minimally spine surgery also involves less pain shorter hospitalisation than an open surgery. Within 3-4 months after the surgery, the patient can begin participating in various sports activities. The success rate of spinal surgeries are very high. Recent articles show that patients do better after spinal surgery than after conservative treatment.
Question : What are the chances of nerve damage during or after the surgery?
Answer : The risk of nerve injury during the surgery is always there which patient has to take. But in good hands the risk is negligible, i.e.0.1%.
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