How Long After TKR Does Swelling Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After about 2 to 3 weeks

TKR stands for total knee replacement, which is the surgical method to cover the surface of the knee affected by arthritis. In common words, it is popularly known as knee arthroplasty in which the end portion of the knee joint is covered by caps, either of metal or plastic. It is mainly required by individuals who have been affected with arthritis. In cases where the person has received severe injuries in the knee, he/she also needs to go for knee replacement.

There are 3 major types of arthritis that may make old age the most difficult phase of one’s life. The most common type i.e. osteoarthritis is the one in which the cartilage present in the joints breakdowns thereby leading to pain in joints. The rheumatoid one is the type in which the synovial membrane is inflamed leading to excessive secretion of synovial fluids, thereby causing stiffness of the joints.

How Long After TKR Does Swelling Last?

TypeTime
Minimum Time2 weeks
Maximum Time3 weeks

Another most common type of arthritis is traumatic arthritis, where the cartilage of the joints is destroyed due to an accident or severe injury. The main purpose of knee replacement is to elevate the pain in the patient and to correct the deformities. Besides the countless reasons for going through this surgery, people mainly have to go through this because of osteoarthritis which occurs during middle age and continues till death, if not treated.

Apart from the various advantages of the procedure, some disadvantages might not motivate an individual to go through this tough surgery. The chances of excessive blood loss through bleeding, infections, and formation of blood clots leading to further complications are the most commonly found complications. Besides these, there are even chances of stiffness and fractures which might scare anyone. There are even chances of the nerves getting injured and the improper functioning of the newly replaced knee.

Before the surgery, one needs to consult the doctor who would explain the patient in detail the procedure. Then the individual would be asked to fill out a consent form thereby submitting his positive consent to the procedure. After this, the health condition of the person would be assessed by the doctor where the patient should inform the doctor about every detail regarding his medication history. The person also needs to specify if he has any bleeding disorders or if he had had any medication which thins the blood.

The patient would be asked to eat nothing at least before 8 hours of the surgery. The person would be prescribed a sedative to reduce pain during the surgery. It is generally performed after the prescription of anesthesia. After the surgery, the patient would be advised to stay on bed rest under the guidance of the doctor for about a week or so.

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Why Does Swelling Last So Long After TKR?

After the surgery, the person may experience symptoms such as swelling, bruises, and pain in the affected area. The pain would last for 4-5 weeks after the procedure. The swelling may remain for about 2-4 weeks while bruising may be reduced within 2 weeks. After these symptoms fade away, one may notice significant changes in their knees. During the process, the patient would be given anesthesia to get relief from the pain while after the surgery, he would be given medications to reduce pain.

Swelling is the most common aftereffect of the surgery. It generally gets healed within 4 weeks but in some extreme cases may take 4-6 months for complete healing. The doctor would suggest some exercises to reduce the pain. Sleeping by elevation of legs with the help of a pillow can even provide some relief to pain. Compressions and ice packs have proven to be a boon in almost all patients.

One should go for a regular check-up at the hospital and should even go for physiotherapy. Physiotherapy would be concentrated to reduce stiffness, numbness, and pain thereby helping the patient to cope up with post-surgery after effects. Pain generally reduces as time passes, but the doctor prescribes pain killers for some time. In case the pain doesn’t fade away after time, then the doctor should be consulted.

Bruises generally get healed within 2 weeks after the surgery. But, in some situations, they may last longer taking a longer time to heal. One should apply the ointments prescribed by the doctor. Maintaining a healthy balanced diet is even necessary to provide enough nutrients to the body. Compressions should be used regularly to reduce the after-effects of the surgery.

Conclusion

After the surgery, one needs to take some special care and precautions to ensure that the affected area heals faster without leading to complications due to infections. One should try to maintain cleanliness and hygiene to the utmost. Lack of cleanliness and hygiene would lead to complications and infections. The patient should follow the instructions of the doctors regarding how to bathe and clean the affected portion.

In case the person experiences fever, redness, swelling, or any such symptoms then he/she should consult the doctor immediately without delay. Driving and other such activities should be avoided until total recovery is attained. Proper care, nutrition can help to heal faster.

References

  1. https://journals.lww.com/corr/Fulltext/2001/11000/Infection_in_Total_Knee_Replacement__A.3.aspx
  2. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199009133231106

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