The Success of a Total Knee Replacement (TKR) Depends on Excellent Rehabilitation
Some of us Outlive our Knees
Osteoarthritis also known as degenerative joint disease is the number one reason that knee cartilage wears out leading to chronic pain and a need for total knee replacement surgery. Rheumatoid arthritis also destroys knees, but this is not as common as osteoarthritis.
There are many things that can be done to slow down or even prevent a total progression to knee disability and the sooner they are done, the better is the chance to slow down the destruction of knee cartilage. Cartilage is a kind of natural cushion that keeps bones from rubbing against each other.
Tips that may Prevent the Total Destruction of Knee Cartilage
While no real cure has been found to stop osteoarthritis the following may help:
Orthopedic Shoes and Orthotic Inserts
Orthopedic shoes with orthotic inserts can often do wonders. However, you must get professional help from a podiatrist to make certain you are going to get exactly the right kind of custom-made inserts. Technology has also made inroads here and there are computer exams of the feet that can pinpoint exactly which ready-made inserts are the correct ones for you to use.
Silicon Knee Support Bandage
When knee arthritis is first diagnosed, wearing a silicon knee support bandage can help to prevent it from progressing and after a month of wearing it the pain will usually stop. This silicon knee support bandage or knee sleeve will not give you back the cartilage you already lost, but it will usually prevent you from losing more cartilage. However, to succeed it must be worn daily.
Physical exercise under the guidance of a certified physical therapist, chiropractor, osteopath or orthopedic surgeon can do a lot to build up muscles in the legs, so that they will be able to support the worn out knees.
Diet and Supplements
Scientific Research has shown that a substance in broccoli called sulphoraphane can prevent the destruction of knee cartilage. It is also found in cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, but it is best in broccoli. brocoli has to be eaten daily and in fairly large amounts to be effective. Broccoli and the other vegetables mentioned above all contain generous amounts of Vitamin K and should not be taken in large amounts by seniors on blood thinning meds like warfarin without the consent of their doctors.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil contains a substance called oleocanthol which acts the same way Ibuprofen does to stop inflammation and pain. However, it does not have the potentially dangerous side effects of Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). People who use it as the sole oil and fat in their diet report a relief in pain. Extra virgin olive oil can also be massaged into the knees for further anti inflammatory pain relief.
There is some evidence that a deficiency of Vitamin D makes arthritis worse.
Many people report relief from pain by acupuncture treatments and at least one animal study showed that acupuncture caused cartilage to grow back in damaged knee joints of rabbits.
When A Total Knee Replacement (TKR) is Necessary
However, if you have reached the point where your orthopedic surgeon recommends a total knee replacement (TKR) and you have received a second opinion, you must understand that in order for the TKR to be successful the first 12 weeks of rehabilitation are crucial and at least 12 months of rehabilitation may be necessary for the success of the TKR. You should check out a rehab even before you have the operation. You need both an excellent surgeon and you need an excellent rehab.
Studies have shown that people who go to a short-term rehabilitation facility immediately following the surgery have the best chances for the knee replacement to succeed. Usually only one knee is operated on at one time and even if both knees are afflicted, usually one knee is worse than the other one.
Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center in Brooklyn NY
The Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center in Brooklyn, NY is a 5 star facility and has an outstanding reputation and very high ratings for excellent rehabilitation for treating people who have had total knee replacements. They have highly skilled physical therapists and state-of-the-art equipment.
Nearby Brooklyn Hospitals
Brooklyn Hospitals that are near Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center are:
New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital
NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn (formerly named NYU Lutheran Medical Center)
SUNY Downstate Medical Center – University Hospital of Brooklyn
NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County
If your doctor says you need a total knee replacement (TKR) and you have also received a confirming second opinion, then you must commit yourself to entering a proper rehabilitation therapeutic program, preferably in a rehabilitation and care facility, as research has shown that surgery without the follow-up of a minimum of 12 weeks rehabilitation following the surgery and up to a full year of further rehabilitation, the TKR may not succeed.
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