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depression and knee replacement surgery

[17 Jul 2011 | No Comments | | Author: ]
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Depression or anxiety are common experiences after a surgical procedure. The depression can happen immediately or months later. The intensity of the depression or anxiety can range from some mild emotional discomfort to a major depressive disorder.

Depression knee replacement surgery problems are similar to those feelings experienced by others after major surgery. After a major surgery feelings of mortality, loss and vulnerability can be profound. Shortly after recovery from surgery depression may be a result of pain, a problem with the anesthesia or a sense of loss from the underlying cause of the surgery. Depression well after the surgery might be caused from the uncertainty about the future or lack of understanding from family and friends close to the patient.

Dr. Herbert Waxman related his experience with depression following his surgery in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 1997. During his depression he experience feelings of emotional pain, sleep problems, and feelings of unworthiness. After he returned to work he realized the importance of honest communication with his patients and listening to their concerns. From the experiences of Dr. Waxman and other doctors it is apparent that communication with their patients isnt stressed in medical school. It may be up to the patient to make suggestions and request more than medication to work through depression following surgery.

Depression knee replacement surgery follows a total knee replacement which is a surgical procedure where a diseased joint, often from arthritis, is replaced with artificial materials to maintain the ability of the sufferer to be functional in their daily activities. Patients who undergo a total knee replacement have the risk of blood clots in the legs, urinary tract infections, nausea, vomiting, chronic knee pain, stiffness, bleeding into the knee joint, nerve damage, blood vessel injury and infection.

Depression knee replacement surgery generally requires a lengthy surgery of 1 to 3 hours. Physical therapy can begin as early as 48 hours after surgery to maintain mobility. Current research is being done to find the common link between patients who suffer from depression following total knee replacement.

Researchers are measuring factors such as pain, stiffness and physical function. X-rays, current life stresses and symptoms of anxiety and depression all appear to have a typical pattern.

Patients who had pain that last beyond the expected time after a total knee replacement tended to have symptoms of depression and anxiety before the operation. Patients who had the most depression before the surgery appeared to have the worst pain after the surgery. Simple screenings prior to the surgery can help anxious patients to learn coping skills before the surgery. And physicians have the opportunity to follow patients who have high stress scores more closely.

Depression knee replacement surgery is a real event that affects both the patients and the families in very negative ways. Without help and treatment some patients go on to recover completely while others spiral into a dark hole of depression, increased pain and decreased mobility.


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