When my clinical instructor made the analogy of a new knee being like a Mercedes Benz, I thought that is very interesting. She went ahead to explain that the people who got new knees were among the 0.01% of humans with perfect anatomy as far as knees go. I don't know cars enough to make a good enough account of which is best but I do know, a Mercedes is way up there with the best of the best. That, and the little research I did on google looking up this car, I am confident in trusting that's a high level compliment.
As with cars , let's talk about why anyone would want to substitute their old worn out knee for a new one. Mind you , I am already a self-confessed ignorant human on anything cars, other than their colour. The truth is, there is only too much you can do to salvage a vehicle after working it too long, wait ,what is the shelf life of a car? The human knee is designed to serve you for your lifetime; I may need to look that up too. What I do know for sure is after the hustle and bustle of everyday life our bodies, and especially our joints, undergo wear and tear.
This wearing out looks like osteoarthritis in humans. The question becomes; when does one settle for an artificial knee? Well, truthfully , a good doctor is
supposed to decide this. There is a number of tests one has to undertake to determine the structural and functional integrity of their knee. If one meets the required criteria , then a new knee is suggested as a viable option. A knee
replacement is usually a last resort kind of solution because nothing beats an original knee put there by the master creator of all things; God.
In the event you are presented with this information, it is crucial to understand what it takes to have a good outcome. Why? because the promise of improved quality of life after the surgery heavily relies on what happens post operative. Due to the trauma of the surgery, the muscular system, whose main job is to protect the skeleton, will respond to trauma by guarding. In the case of the knee, the "safest" position happens to be in extension. This means that attempting to bend the knee immediately after surgery will be met with a lot of resistance that includes pain.
With pain management in place (through medication and physical modalities like icing), it is warranted that ones attends physical therapy to re-educate the body on how to move safely. The more confident one gets with exercises and interventions, the less there is guarding by the muscles and the faster the healing process . With proper rehabilitation though, at the end of two weeks, one should have achieved good bending (range of motion) and recovered strength . One should be able to be independent , go up and down steps and walk without assistive devices.
The details of the procedure do ensure that you have a knee that is stable and long lasting( it will probably outlive you). They also ensure that you can bear weight on your joint without any trouble. After a good recovery , it is quite possible to live a better life than before free of pain and limitations. You are capable of moving more and you do have less pain and discomfort. This compounds to you participating in activities of daily living including social activities that contribute to longevity, general good health and well being.
That being said, if you are living with pain and limitation to your daily life due to loss of knee function, it is wise to consider getting your human car upgraded. If you are tired of medication and endless steroidal injections, maybe it is time to get a permanent solution. And if your doctor has floated this conversation with you, maybe reconsider, ask the questions you need and buy in to the idea.
Visit MOC for well planned, evidence based , affordable care for joint replacement and rehabilitation. Let's get you that "Mercedes" kind of knee and enroll you into the special 0.01% group of the world.