Risks and Complications Associated With Total Knee Replacement Surgeries
For those suffering from arthritis, total knee replacement is the best option. There are, however, some complications that can arise from this surgery. There are several medical institutions where joint replacement surgeries in India take place.
This is why it is essential to know the side-effects associated with it. For instance, some of the well-known complications of knee-replacement surgeries include –
- Persistent pain
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Problems in wound healing
Let us now consider a few of these complications.
Problems with Wound Healing
In certain cases, the wound following a surgery can have issues in healing. This is because of the soft layer of tissue which covers the knee. This takes place due to issues which are commonly associated with patients who have the following conditions –
- Are on steroids
- Psoriasis patients
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Any patient who experiences problems in wound healing should reach out to their doctor at the earliest for immediate diagnosis. This will aid in keeping at bay any further complications such as –
- Skin loss, and
- Loss of prosthesis
Also, any wound that looks unhealthy should be reported back to the concerned surgeon at the soonest.
One of the rather serious complications of knee replacement surgeries is infection. The cases of reported infections have reached as much 16 per cent. Some of the patients who are at highest risk of developing infections are those who have one or more of the following conditions –
- Old age
- Diabetes mellitus
- Lack of proper nutrition
Infections arising from surgical wounds are pain-free. It is physical appearance which helps establish the development of a wound. Some of the common indications include fluid discharge, redness around the wound, fever, induration, or any kind of stiffness in the joint which restricts movement. These are caused due to pathogens such as Staph Aureus.
It is essential to attend to such wounds at the earliest as it can help in better managing prosthetic joint infections followed by starting antibiotics. Treatment for deep infection involves the following –
- Revision surgery
- Polyethylene linear exchange, and
- Intravenous antibiotic therapy
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Also known as DVT, this is one of the most feared complications of total knee replacement surgery. It can result in pulmonary embolism leading to cyanosis, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Other than these, DVT can also result in pain in thigh or calf within a week of surgery. X-rays, lower limb ultrasound, and spiral CT chest may help in diagnosing the onset of DVT at an early stage.
A quick diagnosis can help prevent the formation of clots and pulmonary embolism. Anticoagulation therapy is done to prevent the spread of DVT and an orthopaedic doctor should be consulted too.
Another common complication arising from knee replacement surgery is Peroneal Nerve Palsy. This leads to foot drop, numbness, and paraesthesia. If a patient has developed this condition, then the dressing should be removed and an orthopaedic surgeon should be consulted at the earliest.