squatting

Total Knee Replacement and its impact on squatting activities

Indians have habitually been able to perform full squats for various daily activities. Using the toilet, washing clothes, performing manual labour such as working in fields or mopping floors, all require squatting. Lack of proper sitting arrangements also results in people having to squat in places like bus terminals and railway stations. Of course, nowadays, with people getting more health conscious, doing squats is an integral part of their exercise regime.

It is a myth that squatting is bad for the knees. In fact, if done properly, it benefits greatly and outweigh the risks. Some studies have found that the comprehensive forces on the joints of the knee during this action could help decrease the risk of knee arthritis. It also helps in improving posture and strengthening muscles of the back, hip, calf and ankle.

Being one of the largest joint of the human body, your knee needs to be strong enough to support the body weight. It should lock in proper position so that you can stand upright –one among the basic things humans are proud of –to stand upright!! The knee joint is designed to withstand extreme amounts of mechanical stress and twists and turns during daily life. However, certain bad habits could be shortening the life of your knees and may pave way to chronic pain and disability.

Total knee replacement surgery essentially replaces the damaged surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability. The surgeon removes the injured cartilage and bone from the surface of the knee joint and replaces them with metal and plastic. It is regarded as one of the most successful procedures in medicine. Post-surgery you should be able to carry out most normal activities of daily living like unlimited standing, sitting, walking etc. Exercises like bicycling, walking and swimming are also possible.

So what happens to the ability to do squats after total knee replacement surgery? Well, this is still debatable to some degree. While it is necessary to be cautious about over-straining your knee, with most current implant designs, 100-125 degrees of knee bending is achievable. This would be sufficient to perform most daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, getting in and out of car, rising from a chair etc. However, if your daily activities involve squatting, kneeling and sitting cross legged, a high flexion knee joint should be implanted. It is still under research whether efforts to increase flexion could cause negative effects on the implant, like early loosening.

Each individual recovers from the procedure at a different pace; however, in most cases, patients are likely to use walking aids for three to four weeks post-procedure and would be close to full recovery after ten to twelve weeks.

Knee replacement is one among the most successful medical procedures. It has revolutionized the lives of the patients by relieving pain and improving their quality of lives. There have been commendable advances in terms of surgical techniques and the quality of implants over the years. Advancement in surgical skills also has considerably made the total knee replacement surgery more accepted with reduced recovery time and reduced complication rate and far better improvement in results.