What are the risks of delaying knee replacement surgery?
Knee pain is ignored by many people assuming that it’s just a minor pain and will go away by applying ointment or chronic use of pain killers. Most people who suffer from constant knee pain which includes difficulty in walking and sitting don’t realise that it can be a serious problem too like Renal failure, dialysis, kidney transplant,Nephro-toxicity.
Patients suffering from the condition often delay knee replacement surgery due to many reasons. One out of it is lack of information regarding it. The other reasons that patient delay for knee replacement surgery includes fear of loosing a body part, fear of post-operative surgery pain and fear of stitches.
This reasons later often cause more severe knee problems. Avoiding knee replacement surgery is a risk which a patient should not take as it may lead to further problems like increase in pain, unable to walk properly or completely. Depending upon the condition of the knee, there are techniques like if a patient’s knee not so much damaged then he can opt for knee salvation procedure which is an alternative to knee replacement surgery. If the damage in knee more then the patient also has an option of minimally invasive knee replacement surgery which is painless knee replacement surgery.
Patient sometimes purposely delay knee replacement surgery which can cause
- Risk of deformities developing inside and outside the joints.
- Lack of mobility
- Muscles, ligaments becoming weaker and loosing function
- Unbearable pain
Progression of knee Deformity.
Deformity correction during knee replacement is sometimes challenging, can necessitate the need for more complex and expensive implants and also delays recovery.
When knee replacement surgery is delayed the problem is increased, there are also risks involved during surgical procedures such as it may take longer hours to complete the surgery, or the problem has increased so much till then it requires a major surgery.
Stiffness. Pre-op loss of knee flexion and stiffness makes the surgery difficult for the surgeon and also delays post op recovery. Extensive physiotherapy is needed to overcome stiffness.
Recent studies have shown that timing does make difference in the surgery. So, if the patient is suggested a knee replacement surgery then it should not be delayed or postponed as that can lead to lots of serious issues. Emotional effects of knee pain. Depression. Social anxiety. Lack of confidence. Patients are usually confined to their homes. They resist going out and interact with people and in turn develop emotional issues.
A stitch in time saves nine. A painless knee replacement in time gifts smiles.
by Dr. Bakul Arora, Joint Replacement Surgeon, Thane.