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Knee Replacement Surgery in Nigeria


Knee Replacement Surgery in Nigeria

Knee replacement surgery or knee arthroplasty, is an increasingly implemented surgical procedure that involves replacing a damaged or diseased knee with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic components. The procedure is commonly recommended for individuals who have severe knee pain or disability due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other conditions that may have damaged the knee joint.

In the past, knee replacement surgery was typically only recommended for older individuals. However, technological advances have also made the procedure safer and more effective for younger people. In addition, newer artificial joints are designed to last longer and have a lower risk of complications.

When is Knee Replacement Surgery Required? 

The decision to undergo knee replacement surgery is typically based on a thorough evaluation conducted by an orthopedic surgeon, which involves the following steps:

1.   Medical History and Physical Examination:   Your surgeon will gather detailed information about your medical history, including your symptoms, previous treatments, and any other existing health conditions. A physical examination of your knee will be performed to assess its range of motion, stability, and alignment.


2.   Imaging Studies:   To evaluate the severity of arthritis and the extent of damage to the knee joint, X-rays, MRI, or CT scans may be ordered. These imaging studies also help rule out other potential causes of knee pain, such as tumors or fractures.


3.   Conservative Treatment:   Before considering knee replacement, your doctor may suggest non-surgical treatment options. These may include physical therapy, medications, bracing, or weight management, aimed at managing your symptoms and potentially delaying the need for surgery.

4.   Discussion of Risks and Benefits:   Your surgeon will have a thorough discussion with you about the risks, benefits, and alternatives to knee replacement surgery. They will explain the potential outcomes and the recovery process involved in the surgery.

Overall, the decision to proceed with knee replacement surgery is based on a combination of medical evaluation, patient input, and an understanding of the potential benefits and risks involved. The goal is to provide the most suitable treatment plan to improve knee function and relieve pain effectively.

Understanding Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure

Knee replacement surgery involves several essential steps to address damaged bone and cartilage in the knee joint. Here's a breakdown of what happens during the procedure:

1.   Removal of Damaged Tissue:   The surgeon will carefully remove the damaged bone and cartilage from the thigh bone (femur), shinbone (tibia), or kneecap (patella).

2.   Placement of Artificial Joint:   An artificial joint, consisting of metal and plastic components, is precisely positioned to replace the removed tissue. The components are securely attached using either special cement or a press-fit method.

3.   Alignment and Testing:   The surgeon meticulously aligns the artificial joint to ensure proper functionality. The knee's movement and stability are tested to confirm that everything works as intended.

4.   Closing the Incision:   Once the joint is in place and functioning correctly, the surgeon closes the incision with sutures.

5.   Recovery and Monitoring:   After the surgery, the patient is taken to a recovery room, where medical professionals closely monitor them for any signs of complications.

The entire surgery typically takes about two to three hours, depending on the patient's condition and the type of procedure performed. It is performed under general anesthesia to ensure the patient's comfort and safety.

After the surgery, patients usually stay in the hospital for about 4-5 days. Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the recovery process and is initiated as soon as the patient's condition is stable. Physical therapy helps the patient regain strength and range of motion in their knee, facilitating a successful recovery and return to normal activities.

Knee replacement surgery is a well-established procedure with a high success rate, and it has helped countless individuals find relief from chronic knee pain and improve their quality of life.

Different Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries 

Knee replacement surgeries vary depending on the specific joint or joints being addressed. Here are the main types:


1.   Total Knee Replacement:   Also known as total knee arthroplasty, this is the most common type of knee replacement surgery. It involves replacing the entire knee joint, including the thigh bone (femur), shin bone (tibia), and knee cap (patella), with artificial components.

2.   Unicompartmental Knee Replacement:   Often referred to as partial knee replacement, this surgery replaces only one compartment of the knee joint, typically the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) compartment. It is recommended for patients with arthritis confined to a single compartment of the knee.

3.   Revision Knee Replacement:   This surgery is performed to replace a previously implanted knee joint that has failed or become loose. Revision knee replacements are more complex and carry a higher risk of complications compared to primary knee replacements.

4.   Bilateral Knee Replacement:   In this procedure, both knees are replaced either simultaneously or at a later stage, depending on the condition of the other knee.   

5. Gender-Specific Knee Replacement:   These knee replacements are designed to suit the specific anatomy of men or women, providing a better fit and function.

Each type of knee replacement surgery is tailored to meet the patient's individual needs and condition. It is crucial for the surgeon to choose the most appropriate type to ensure the best possible outcome and improve the patient's knee function and quality of life.

What is the recovery time for Knee Replacement Surgery?

Recovery from knee replacement surgery usually takes several weeks and may involve physical therapy to help restore strength and range of motion. Most people are able to return to their normal activities within a few months of the surgery.

What are some benefits of Knee Replacement Surgery

There are several potential benefits to knee replacement surgery, including:

  1. Pain Relief: The most immediate benefit of knee replacement surgery is the relief of pain and discomfort in the knee joint. This can lead to an improvement in quality of life, as well as an increased ability to participate in daily activities and exercises.
  2. Increased Mobility: After surgery, patients typically experience a significant improvement in their ability to move and function. This includes being able to walk farther, climb stairs, and even return to activities such as golfing, swimming, and cycling.
  3. Improved Function and Independence: Knee replacement surgery can help patients become more independent and improve their overall function, which in turn can improve their quality of life. For example, they may be able to do more tasks around the house and return to work.
  4. Long-lasting Results: Knee replacement surgery has a high success rate and the artificial joint can last for many years and in some cases even decades.
  5. Quality of life: Due to less pain and increased mobility, people who have had knee replacement surgery report an overall improvement in their quality of life. Many people feel happier, less depressed, and more active after the surgery.

What is the success rate of Knee Replacement Surgeries In Nigeria?

In Nigeria, knee replacement surgeries record a quite high success rate according to various medical expert journals with more than enough competent practitioners on the ground to perform the surgery in the country and offer post-surgical care to the patients.

What are common risks in Knee Replacement surgery?


While knee replacement surgery can provide significant relief from pain and improve the patient's ability to move and function, the procedure does come with certain risks. However, as with any surgery, there are also potential risks and complications. These may include infection, bleeding, blood clots, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.

FAQs About Knee Replacement Surgery

1.   What is knee replacement surgery? 

Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure aimed at relieving chronic knee pain and restoring mobility in individuals with severe knee joint damage or arthritis. During the surgery, the damaged parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial implants made of metal, ceramic, or plastic, recreating the joint's smooth movement.

2.   Who is a candidate for knee replacement surgery? 

Candidates for knee replacement surgery typically include individuals experiencing significant knee pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility, often due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis. Doctors will evaluate a patient's medical history, physical condition, and imaging results to determine if surgery is the best option.

3.   What are the benefits of knee replacement surgery? 

Knee replacement surgery can provide substantial benefits, including reduced pain, improved joint function, enhanced mobility, and an overall improvement, in the quality of life. Patients can often return to daily activities and enjoy a more active lifestyle after recovery.

4.   Is knee replacement surgery a safe procedure? 

Knee replacement surgery is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced orthopedic surgeon. However, like any surgery, it carries some risks, such as infection, blood clots, and nerve or blood vessel damage. Your surgeon will discuss the potential risks and benefits with you before the procedure.

5.   What is the recovery process like? 

The recovery period after knee replacement surgery varies from person to person. Typically, patients will need to stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery and undergo physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. Full recovery may take several months, and patients are advised to follow their surgeon's instructions for a successful outcome.

6.   How long does a knee replacement last? 

The longevity of a knee replacement implant depends on various factors, including the patient's activity level, weight, and the type of implant used. On average, modern knee replacements can last 15 to 20 years or more with proper care and maintenance.

7.   Are there alternatives to knee replacement surgery? 

In some cases, non-surgical treatments like medication, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or arthroscopic procedures may be sufficient to manage knee pain and improve function. However, if these options do not provide relief, knee replacement surgery may be the recommended course of action.

8.   Can both knees be replaced at the same time? 

While it is possible to have both knees replaced simultaneously, the decision depends on various factors, including the patient's overall health and the surgeon's recommendation. In some cases, staging the surgeries (one at a time) may be a safer option.

9.   Is knee replacement surgery covered by insurance? 

In many cases, knee replacement surgery is covered by health insurance, but the extent of coverage may vary depending on the specific policy. Patients are advised to check with their insurance provider and understand the details of coverage and any out-of-pocket expenses.

10.   How can I prepare for knee replacement surgery? 

Preparing for knee replacement surgery involves following your doctor's instructions, discussing your medical history and medications, and making necessary arrangements for post-surgery care and support. Engaging in pre-operative exercises and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also aid in the recovery process.



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**FAQs About Knee Replacement Surgery**
1. **What is knee replacement surgery?**
   Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure aimed at relieving chronic knee pain and restoring mobility in individuals with severe knee joint damage or arthritis. During the surgery, the damaged parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial implants made of metal, ceramic, or plastic, recreating the joint's smooth movement.
2. **Who is a candidate for knee replacement surgery?**
   Candidates for knee replacement surgery typically include individuals experiencing significant knee pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility, often due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or post-traumatic arthritis. Doctors will evaluate a patient's medical history, physical condition, and imaging results to determine if surgery is the best option.
3. **What are the benefits of knee replacement surgery?**
   Knee replacement surgery can provide substantial benefits, including reduced pain, improved joint function, enhanced mobility, and an overall improvement in the quality of life. Patients can often return to daily activities and enjoy a more active lifestyle after recovery.
4. **Is knee replacement surgery a safe procedure?**
   Knee replacement surgery is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced orthopedic surgeon. However, like any surgery, it carries some risks, such as infection, blood clots, and nerve or blood vessel damage. Your surgeon will discuss the potential risks and benefits with you before the procedure.
5. **What is the recovery process like?**
   The recovery period after knee replacement surgery varies from person to person. Typically, patients will need to stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery and undergo physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. Full recovery may take several months, and patients are advised to follow their surgeon's instructions for a successful outcome.
6. **How long does a knee replacement last?**
   The longevity of a knee replacement implant depends on various factors, including the patient's activity level, weight, and the type of implant used. On average, modern knee replacements can last 15 to 20 years or more with proper care and maintenance.
7. **Are there alternatives to knee replacement surgery?**
   In some cases, non-surgical treatments like medication, physical therapy, corticosteroid injections, or arthroscopic procedures may be sufficient to manage knee pain and improve function. However, if these options do not provide relief, knee replacement surgery may be the recommended course of action.
8. **Can both knees be replaced at the same time?**
   While it is possible to have both knees replaced simultaneously, the decision depends on various factors, including the patient's overall health and the surgeon's recommendation. In some cases, staging the surgeries (one at a time) may be a safer option.
9. **Is knee replacement surgery covered by insurance?**
   In many cases, knee replacement surgery is covered by health insurance, but the extent of coverage may vary depending on the specific policy. Patients are advised to check with their insurance provider and understand the details of coverage and any out-of-pocket expenses.
10. **How can I prepare for knee replacement surgery?**
    Preparing for knee replacement surgery involves following your doctor's instructions, discussing your medical history and medications, and making necessary arrangements for post-surgery care and support. Engaging in pre-operative exercises and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can also aid in the recovery process.

DisclaimerThe information provided herein is for the patient's general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, diagnosis, or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by Surjen.com.

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