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Knee Replacement

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Consultants who perform this procedure

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There are two types of knee replacement surgery:

  • Total knee replacement (where the entire knee joint is replaced)
  • Partial knee replacement (where only parts of the joint are replaced)

Why would I need knee replacement surgery?

People who require knee replacement surgery most often suffer from osteoarthritis, but there are other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, bone dysplasias, knee injury and gout, that might necessitate the need for this procedure.

What symptoms does knee replacement surgery address?

Most people who have knee replacement surgery no longer have knee pain and are able to walk with less difficulty, which can make it easier to do certain everyday activities.

When should you speak to your GP about knee replacement surgery?

If you are experiencing extreme knee pain that makes it difficult to move or perform everyday activities and alternative treatments have not helped, it might be time to consider speaking to your GP about the possibility of undergoing knee replacement surgery.

How is knee replacement surgery performed?

Knee replacement surgery takes approximately an hour and you may be under general anaesthetic or have an epidural.

Your surgeon will make a cut on the front of your knee and remove the damaged joint and replace it with a prosthetic. 

What is the recovery for knee replacement surgery?

Your recovery from knee replacement surgery can depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level, and the nature of your procedure.

Shortly after your surgery, medical staff will help you try to walk, often with crutches or a frame, and there might be some initial pain or discomfort. As your recovery continues, you might work with a physiotherapist on different exercises that will help with your knee’s strength and mobility.

You and your surgeon will decide upon your best recovery options after your surgery.

Are there any risks/complications associated with knee replacement surgery?

As with any medical procedure, it is possible for risks or complications to arise. It is best that you speak with your GP or surgeon about how best to avoid any adverse reactions.

Most people who undergo knee replacement surgery don’t experience complications, but they are possible. Some of the most common risks and complications that have been associated with the procedure are:

  • An infection in the surgical wound
  • Knee stiffness
  • Knee pain
  • Blood clots
  • Nerve damage in the knee joint or surrounding area
  • Knee fracture
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Dislocation
  • Loosening of implants

How can I prepare for knee replacement surgery?

Prior to knee replacement surgery you should discuss the preparations you should make with your surgeon, as there are several that could be suggested and they vary depending on the person.

Common preparations for knee replacement surgery include:

  • Losing weight if you are overweight
  • Remaining active and doing regular exercises
  • Routine blood and urine tests, x-rays or ECGs as ordered by your surgeon

Are there alternatives for knee replacement surgery?

There are both alternatives that you might consider rather than undergoing knee replacement surgery, including:

  • Using over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen
  • Dietary supplements
  • Using a walking stick
  • Moderate regular exercise that can help reduce pain and stiffness
  • Steroid or lubricant injections into the knee joint
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