What I Wish I Knew Before Knee Replacement Surgery

What I Wish I Knew Before Knee Replacement Surgery

Are you considering knee replacement surgery? You don’t want to have any regrets or thoughts of “what I wish I knew before knee replacement surgery,” so before you decide, it’s crucial to understand not just the benefits but also the potential risks and complications that come with it. 

From the possibility of infection, prosthesis failure, and lengthy recovery times to the need for ongoing physical therapy and perhaps even private nursing care—there’s a lot to weigh. What if a less invasive alternative could offer a faster recovery with fewer risks? Let’s explore how stem cell therapy might be the groundbreaking solution you’re looking for, potentially sparing you the ordeal of traditional surgery.

Understanding Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, might be on your horizon if you suffer from severe knee pain or dysfunction due to arthritis, injury, or other chronic conditions. In this procedure, damaged parts of your knee joint are removed and replaced with artificial components made from metal and plastic. These prosthetics are designed to mimic the function of a healthy knee, aiming to restore mobility and relieve pain.

Before you proceed, it’s essential to understand that while knee replacement can significantly enhance your quality of life by reducing pain and improving mobility, it comes with substantial considerations. You may have tried other treatments, such as medications, physical therapy, or less invasive surgical options, without adequate relief. 

It’s important to have realistic expectations and understand knee replacement’s potential benefits and limitations. This surgery involves significant preparation and a rigorous post-operative recovery regimen, and it carries risks such as infection, blood clots, and the possibility of implant failure over time. It’s crucial to consult thoroughly with healthcare professionals to ensure it’s the best course of action for your specific health needs and lifestyle.

What I Wish I Knew Before Knee Replacement Surgery: Risks and Complications of Knee Replacement Surgery

Before you undergo knee replacement surgery, it’s vital to fully grasp the risks and complications that could arise. While many people experience significant improvements in pain and mobility, the procedure is not without its challenges:

    • Infection: Surgery can expose you to the risk of infections which can occur at the incision site or deeper around the prosthetic components. Such infections may require additional treatment with antibiotics, and in severe cases, additional surgery.
    • Blood Clots: Post-surgery, you are at an increased risk of developing blood clots in the veins of your legs. These clots can be potentially life-threatening if they move to the lungs, a condition known as pulmonary embolism.
    • Continued Pain: Some patients may continue to experience pain after surgery due to various factors including the body’s reaction to the artificial joint, improper placement of the implant, or other health issues.
    • Anesthesia Risks: As with any surgery requiring anesthesia, there are risks involved, including allergic reactions and breathing problems.
    • Limited Range of Motion: Only some people regain full mobility after knee replacement. You might find that your ability to bend or flex the knee remains restricted.
    • Failure Rate: Although modern knee implants are designed to last, there is still a chance that they can wear out or loosen over time, potentially leading to a need for revision surgery. Research shows, 7.8% of 10,003 knee surgeries needed revisions, with 37.6% of these failing within two years, mainly due to infections. Other common causes included aseptic loosening (31.2%) and instability (18.7%). Nationwide data shows infections, implant loosening, and breakage as top reasons for revising surgeries.

Understanding these potential issues can help you weigh the benefits and risks more carefully. If you’re feeling apprehensive, consider discussing alternative treatments with your doctor.

What I Wish I Knew Before Knee Replacement Surgery 2

The Recovery Process

Recovering from knee replacement surgery is a significant process, and knowing what to expect can help you prepare and manage your recovery more effectively. 

Here’s what you should anticipate:

Initial Recovery Phase: Immediately after surgery, you will spend a few hours in post-operative care where nurses will monitor your vital signs as the anesthesia wears off. You may feel pain, but you will be given medications to manage it. Typically, you’ll be encouraged to start moving and walking with assistance within the first 24 hours to enhance blood flow and prevent clots.

Hospital Stay: Depending on your individual recovery progress, pain management, and mobility, your hospital stay may last from a few days to a week. The medical team will work with you to ensure your pain is controlled and that you can perform basic movements like walking and using the restroom.

Physical Therapy: Once you’re home, physical therapy becomes crucial to your recovery. A therapist will visit you at home or you’ll attend sessions at a clinic to regain knee strength and mobility. This is vital to your recovery and helps ensure your new joint’s long-term success.

Home Modifications: Prepare your living space to avoid falls and make daily activities easier. This may include safety bars in the bathroom, a stable chair for your shower, and removing trip hazards.

Long-Term Care: Recovery doesn’t stop once you’re walking. It can take up to 6 months to a year to fully recover from knee replacement surgery. During this time, you’ll need to continue physical therapy exercises and gradually return to everyday activities. It’s important to follow all your surgeon’s guidelines and attend all follow-up appointments to monitor your progress.

Emotional and Mental Health: Recovery can also be mentally challenging. You might feel isolated or frustrated with the pace of recovery. It’s important to have a good support network and to talk about your feelings with friends, family, or a professional if needed.

Understanding the recovery process allows you to prepare for the journey ahead. It’s not just about healing physically, but also about adapting your lifestyle temporarily and focusing on the ultimate goal of regaining mobility and improving your quality of life. For some, exploring options like stem cell therapy might offer a less invasive approach to managing knee problems without the extensive commitments and risks associated with surgery.

Getting to the Root: Stem Cell Therapy for Knee Replacement Patients

Stem cell therapy offers a groundbreaking alternative to knee replacement surgery, using your body’s own cells to repair and rejuvenate damaged knee tissues. This innovative, non-surgical treatment involves using stem cells from your body, concentrating them, and injecting them directly into the knee. 

A 2023 study published in Experimental Orthopaedics revealed that injecting stem cells into the knee can significantly improve early to moderate knee osteoarthritis symptoms. This systematic review analyzed data from 12 articles involving 539 patients and 576 knees treated with this method. Results showed notable improvements in knee function, pain relief, and overall quality of life for patients.

Another 2022 study published in Regenerative Medicine explored the real-world impact of stem cell therapy on knee osteoarthritis. This large prospective study followed 329 participants who underwent stem cell therapy and were monitored over two years. The findings were encouraging: the treatment was well tolerated, and no serious adverse events related to the therapy were reported. Participants from various groups, regardless of their radiological osteoarthritis grade, age, or BMI, experienced clinically significant improvements in pain. The study concluded that stem cell therapy is not only safe and effective but also offers lasting relief from knee osteoarthritis symptoms and could potentially delay the need for total joint replacement. Additionally, by alleviating symptoms effectively, stem cell therapy could help reduce the overall economic burden associated with osteoarthritis.

You could experience reduced pain, inflammation and a quicker recovery compared to traditional surgery. It’s crucial to consult with a specialist in regenerative medicine to understand this treatment’s potential benefits and limitations. While still under research and not widely covered by insurance, stem cell therapy might be the key to improving your knee health without surgery.

Contact GIOSTAR Chicago Today to Start Your Stem Cell Therapy

Ready to explore how stem cell therapy can rejuvenate your knees and improve your quality of life? Reach out to GIOSTAR Chicago today to begin your journey toward healing and mobility with cutting-edge treatment options tailored just for you. Don’t wait—take the first step towards a more active and pain-free life!

Contact us today by completing this form or calling us at 844 446 7827 to learn more about our regenerative therapies and how they can help you finally alleviate your neck pain.

About GIOSTAR Chicago:

GIOSTAR Chicago is dedicated to developing the most advanced stem cell-based technologies and providing the best regenerative medicine for people who want to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle.

Written by Shelly Sood

Shelly Sood is an author, founder, and partner at GIOSTAR Chicago. She's passionate about advancing the science related to regenerative medicine and making treatment accessible to the masses. Her team consists of world-renowned authorities in stem cell biology, protein biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, in utero transplantation of stem cell, tissue targeting, gene therapy and clinical research. Stay tuned to for more of Shelly's updates regarding lifestyle, stem cell research and application, and more.