Debunking 5 Myths About Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is often an option to reduce and eliminate chronic knee pain from arthritis of the knee. With thousands of successful knee replacement surgeries performed every year in Singapore, a new knee can change your life. 

However, despite the high success rate for knee replacement surgery, several myths about it remain. From fear of failure to long recovery periods, potential patients have a lot to think about, and these misconceptions don’t make your decision any easier. 

We’ll dispel some of these myths surrounding knee replacement so you can make the best decision for your knee health. 

Myth 1: Knee Replacement Surgery Is Only For The Elderly

The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is osteoarthritis. This degenerative disease is caused by changes in joint tissue and develops over a significant period, meaning many affected patients are the elderly. This leads to the myth that only elderly individuals require knee replacement surgery. 

However, osteoarthritis can affect younger people too, but it isn’t the only reason patients may require a knee replacement. Genetic structural issues such as bow legged knees, lack of blood flow to the knee (osteonecrosis), haemophilia, obesity and sports injuries are some reasons why knee replacements may be necessary. All of these conditions can affect people of any age.

Myth 2: Knee Replacement Surgery Results In Loss Of Natural Movement

Knee replacement surgery involves removing the damaged portion of the knee joint and grafting a metal component to the remaining bone. This leads to the incorrect belief that a knee replacement cannot function as well as the joint we were born with, and our ability to move naturally will be reduced. 

On the contrary, patients who delay their knee replacement surgery run the risk of making their knees stiffer as the disease progresses. Patients who receive timely surgery before their knees become stiff benefit more from the knee replacement surgery and have a better chance of maintaining their natural motion. Many patients who are suitable for a partial knee replacement maintain or improve their knee movement very well. 

Myth 3: Knee Replacement Surgery Means Giving Up Sports And Physical Activities

Many believe a knee replacement will be weaker than a natural knee joint. Due to this, the myth goes that after a knee replacement surgery, patients will never be able to play sports or enjoy outdoor activities again. 

Thanks to modern advancements, the durability of knee prostheses has improved greatly. Once patients fully recover from knee replacement surgery, they can resume an active lifestyle. Patients with partial knee replacement are known to return to an active level of sports, which in turn helps to assist with the recovery process and strengthen the surrounding muscles.

Myth 4: Knee Replacement Surgery Requires A Long And Extensive Rehabilitation Period

A lengthy and arduous recovery process is one of the main reasons why patients prolong the decision to undergo knee replacement surgery. Giving up a significant portion of your life to immobility is usually less desirable than simply suffering through the pain. 

In reality, most patients start walking within 24 hours after surgery, and are discharged from hospital in 1-3 days. Recovery from knee replacement surgery usually takes three to six months. Partial knee replacements also have even shorter rehabilitation periods at 6-8 weeks. However, it’s important to be patient and wait until your doctor gives you the all-clear to ensure success.

Myth 5: Knee Replacement Surgery Only Lasts For Up To 10 Years

Knee replacements don’t last forever, as the metal and plastic used in their designs suffer from wear and tear. This has led to the myth that patients will need a new replacement every ten years. 

While infections, body weight, and activity can lessen their lifespan, most knee replacements last at least 20 years. A consistent rehabilitation plan and exercising regularly can help your knee replacement last as long as possible. Only after a few decades will you need to seek a new knee replacement.

Dr Kau: Knee Replacement Surgeon

With 15 years of experience and expertise in knee replacement surgery in Singapore, Dr Kau Chung Yuan is here to guide you through the decision-making process and provide personalised care. Explore your options for knee replacement surgery today and reach out to Dr Kau here.

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OrthoKau is a local Orthopaedic Practice in Singapore helmed by Dr Kau Chung Yuan. With more than 15 years experience, we treat patients of all ages with varying orthopaedic conditions.

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