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Video:Knee Replacement Surgery

with Dr. Bob Lahita

Knee replacement surgery is fairly common practice and can help alleviate extreme joint pain from arthritis. Learn more about knee replacement surgery in this video.See Transcript

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Transcript:Knee Replacement Surgery

I’m Dr. Bob Lahita, Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Let’s talk about knee replacement.

Knee Replacements are Prosthesis

When I talk about knee replacement, I’m talking about putting a prosthesis - that’s what they’re called - an artificial knee in your body. This can almost apply to any artificial joint in your body including the hips, the shoulders, the elbows, but specifically knee replacements. Mostly, replaced knees come as a result of either severe osteoarthritic change with degeneration and an inability to walk or bear weight on the extremity, or from other diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, where the joint replacement has to occur

Knee Replacement Surgery is Routine

If you have a knee replacement, the plus part of this is that the surgery is very well known and is easy to perform. The recovery rate is not that long, and there are very, very few side effects. However, when side effects do occur for knee replacement, they can be pretty bad. One such side effect is infection. Prosthesis are foreign bodies, and when they’re put in, and they’re put in with non sterile conditions (which is very rare but does happen), you can get an infected prosthesis which will have to be removed. Sometimes, patients have allergies to the cement which is used to put the prosthetic in place.

Drug Interaction with Knee Replacements

And, one of the biggest concerns we have is with the new drugs for arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis. These drugs are called biologicals, more specifically anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs. They can lower your resistance, and when you have the prosthesis put in, if you start the drug up too soon and get an infection, it is very difficult to treat the infection. As a matter of fact, it’s difficult to treat any kind of an infection where there’s a foreign body involved, and sometimes the entire foreign body has to be removed. So, you may be without a knee for a couple of weeks until the infection is cured and a new prosthesis put in. But by and large, it’s excellent surgery, and it is wonderful when it is done properly, and you get great relief.

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