The knee is the largest joint in the human body which supports the movement of legs and is very much essential to perform day-to-day activities. The routine activities can be affected due to the injury or damage to the knee causing severe pain or impaired function which paves a way for knee replacement. One such procedure is the fast track knee replacement Surgery.
What is Fast Track Knee Replacement?
This procedure is performed only in few centres that follow this surgery with experts as it is a sophisticated procedure. The fast-track knee replacement is also referred to as daycare total knee replacement. It is a new revolutionary minimally invasive technique that can be completed within an hour duration with reduced chances of infection.
The major benefit is it gives immediate postoperative pain relief which enables the patients to walk within 4.00 to 5.00 hours post-surgery.
Surgery involves performing the procedure using miniature instruments with advanced surgical techniques while managing regional anaesthesia limited to the infected part of the leg area. The miniature instruments are used along with the regional anaesthesia to reduce pain, infections, trauma, side effects or complications typically associated with surgery, as well as helps in faster recovery of the patient.
Three phases of the Fast Track Knee Replacement
The Fast-Track (or Day-care) TKR program along with its related approaches are categorized into 3 phases as per the proceedings of the surgery:
1. Pre-operative phase:
The pre-operative phase comprises investigations and cross consultations which is highly required. Then the patient is completely assessed for surgery. The entire procedure is explained by the orthopaedist with adequate or detailed information. Antibiotic, Infectious prophylaxis is given and Pre-emptive analgesia is used for the treatment before the surgery.
2. Intra-operative phase:
In the Intraoperative phase, the patient is injected with regional anaesthesia which can control the pain and help in minimal blood loss during the procedure.
3. Post-operative phase:
It is a multimodality, effective pain management that utilizes different analgesia techniques. It is essential for a patient to be equipped with all necessary equipment to monitor the patient. Intensive care will be provided. If a patient requires a homestay, the activities of the patient should be monitored and reported to the operating surgeon. In case of any emergency, patients can be shifted from home to the hospital.
How Fast Track Surgery for Knee Replacement is safe and secure in the COVID-19 Pandemic era?
While the COVID-19 pandemic remains widespread in India and across the globe and is probable to persist for the foreseeable future, Fast-Track Knee Replacement is a safe surgical procedure to reduce the spreading of the disease.
Moreover, with Fast-Track knee Replacement surgery, the patients are likely to go home the same day after the procedure to avoid an overnight stay at the hospital.
Advantages of Day-care or Fast Track TKR Procedure
With minimal incision, minimal blood loss, minimal exposure, and shorter stay at the hospital, Fast-Track Knee Replacement has revolutionized the healthcare industry. However, it has certain benefits that include:
- Faster or speedy recovery.
- No staying for hours in the hospital.
- Small incisions are made during the procedure.
- Minimum or no disturbance to the habitual routine.
- Cost- effective procedure.
- Minimal pain due to unique anaesthesia methods.
- Hassle free physical therapy with a faster mobility.
- Minimal mental stress or disturbances, especially for the aged or elderly.
- Ease of staircase activity, and stick walking made easy on the 3rd day after the surgery.
- Restoring to faster normalcy within 3 to 4 weeks’ time after surgery.
- Long-lasting results with the use of Imported Metal Back Implants and Latest German Computer Navigation Machine.
- Reduced risk of cross-infection to the other patients or their relatives.
Progressively patients can take advantage of fast-track surgery for knee replacement because the advancements in the healthcare field have recently been fabricated with newer anaesthesia protocols and unique multimodal pain reduction strategies. The other surgeries may be crucial to the recovery process, but it is so flexible with this particular surgery technique.
On examining the results, the complications such as the deep vein thrombosis and infection rate have vitally reduced making knee replacement a safer procedure for all age groups.
The precision of this smart technique aids in reducing the error of the index surgery to achieve persistent, anticipated, and repeatable outcomes in a fast-track manner.