Knee Replacements in Saskatchewan

Doctors and surgeons typically recommend surgery when knee pain becomes disabling, and conservative measures such as physical therapy, medication, bracing, or weight loss no longer relieve symptoms.

3 minute read

As we age the knee joint is more susceptible to arthritic changes as the cartilage has poor blood supply and a limited ability to heal. The cartilage can become cracked, torn, or worn down from collective trauma over the years. This can cause unfavourable weight dispersion, increased bone to bone contact, and localized inflammation.

Facts

  • Between the year 2020-2021 there were over 55,000 knee replacements performed in Canada.
  • The knee joint is the largest joint in the human body and consists of two joints: the tibiofemoral joint (between the tibia and femur), and the patellofemoral joint (between the patella and femur). This joint is known as a modified hinge joint, and primarily allows flexion and extension (or bending and straightening) of the joint. The articular disks of the knee joint are called menisci and are made of tough fibrous cartilage that assist in force dispersion, joint congruency, and prevent bone on bone contact of the femur and tibia.
  • There are many risk factors for degenerative changes including:
    • Previous trauma: Optimal force dispersion is gradually lost overtime due to altered joint structures.
    • Weight: Each increase in kilogram of body weight is multiplied 2-3x at the knee.
    • Gender: Women are genetically at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis.
    • Athletics and repetitive stress: Activities that require repetitive kneeling, squatting, and lifting can cumulatively put excessive forces through the knee joint over time. Sports such as soccer, tennis, long distance running, weight lifting, and wrestling are associated with increased risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life.
  • While the major risk for joint replacement comes from osteoarthritic changes, younger individuals may be at risk due to hereditary factors and inherited abnormalities. Factors such as bone deformities and metabolic disorders can increase localized inflammation and increase the risk of osteoarthritis.
  • Historically, the first approach to managing degenerative disease is conservative, which include patient education, low-impact exercise, bracing, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and intra-articular injections. Research has shown that a structured model of osteoarthritic care can lead to higher physical activity after 12 months and a lower surgical rate (reduced or postponed surgery) in people with hip or knee OA. Patient education on disease, diet, and activity modification can have a significant positive impact on symptom management, reported pain levels, range of motion, and functional status.

Post-operative knee replacement symptoms/complications:

  • Possible infection and increased temperature
  • Reduced range of motion and/or poor scar tissue mobility
  • Reduced ability to walk (altered gait cycle)
  • Poor pain control
  • Increased swelling and increased risk of DVTs (deep vein thrombosis)

Cause and treatments

Physical therapy can speed up your recovery process and help prevent any setbacks, while restoring your limb range of motion and stability. A physical examination of your limb range of motion and strength, as well as your gait (walking) cycle by Venture Rehab university trained physical therapists can determine any movement or weakness deficits. Once diagnosed we will work as a team to design a tailored treatment plan that can include but is not limited to:

  • Hands on stretching of joints tissue and surrounding muscles
  • Exercise instruction to maintain and stretch tight structures
  • Exercises to strengthen weak muscles
  • Exercises to increase function
  • Education to optimize weight bearing through the affected lower limb

Book your treatment and start today

Don’t wait to book your treatment! With over 30 years of experience at Venture Rehab we can help you manage your pain, increase your range of motion, and get you back to doing the things you love. With 19 clinics across Saskatchewan you can get started the same day you call, no doctor’s referral needed. We offer tailored treatment plans to help you feel better quickly. Find a clinic near you to book your appointment today.

Written by Jeff Gabrush – Physical therapist at Venture Rehab in Saskatoon

/ Knee Replacements in Saskatchewan

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