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Total Knee Resurfacing

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Learn more about total knee resurfacing at King Edward VII’s Hospital

We know living with knee pain can be an upsetting experience that stops you from doing day to day activities.  Here you can find out more about our London knee resurfacing specialists and find out if this treatment is the right option for you. On this page King Edward VII’s Hospital London partial knee resurfacing consultants answer your questions about the procedure.

If you choose to have your treatment with us you can be rest assured you’ll receive the best possible care. As part of our wrap around care before, during and after you knee replacement you’ll be able to access Joint School where you’ll have dedicated 1 on 1 time with a team of clinical nurse specialists and physiotherapist. This dedicated service will give you the ability to get personalised advice to enhance your healing journey and get back to feeling like yourself again quicker. Find out more. 

Knee resurfacing is a surgical procedure carried out to replace the worn surfaces of the bones within the knee joint with plastic and metal prostheses. It preserves the knee cap and the surrounding ligaments and other soft tissues that would otherwise be lost during an older style knee replacement operation.

This type of surgery is less invasive than a full knee replacement and therefore results in a speedier recovery and a better, more natural, range of movement within the knee.

Why would I need knee resurfacing surgery?

Most patients requiring this type of surgery need it because they have pain, discomfort and mobility problems within the knee joint caused by ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, overuse or injury.

What symptoms does knee resurfacing surgery address?

Surgery to resurface the knee helps to reduce pain in the area and restore freedom of movement. It can also help you get back to your regular sporting activities and improve your overall quality of life.

When should you speak to your specialist about knee resurfacing surgery?

If you’re experiencing knee pain, stiffness and immobility, speak to your doctor about specialist surgery to help improve your symptoms.

How is knee resurfacing surgery performed?

Knee resurfacing surgery is carried out under a general anaesthetic and usually takes around an hour and a half. Most patients require a couple of days in hospital following surgery.

During surgery, your surgeon will smooth out areas of wear and tear on the affected bones, including any bone spurs, and resurface the bone using stainless steel and/or a type of surgical grade plastic called high density polyethylene. They will then close your wound with surgical stitches and bandage your leg.

What is the recovery like for knee resurfacing surgery?

Your recovery from knee resurfacing surgery will depend on multiple factors, including your age, fitness level and the nature of your procedure and your general level of health.

You will be provided with pain relief and your physiotherapy team will encourage you to bend and move your knee and be fully weightbearing within a day of surgery to help minimise swelling and support your full recovery.

You can expect some pain and discomfort in your knee for a few days or weeks following surgery, and this can be managed with painkillers. Any swelling can also be helped by using ice packs. Your medical team will provide you with crutches and advise you how long you should use them for.

Depending on your job and activity level, you can expect to be making progress towards walking and moving normally within six weeks.

Your surgeon will discuss the recovery process with you and recommend the best course of action for your recovery period.

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

As with any medical procedure, it’s possible for risks or complications to arise. Speaking with your specialist or surgeon beforehand will help you avoid any adverse reactions.

Knee resurfacing surgery has a relatively low risk of serious complications, but the following risks and complications can occur in a small number of cases:

• Wound infection
• Bleeding
• Swelling
• Stiffness and an inability to fully bend your knee
• Failure of the procedure
• Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
• Damage to the surrounding nerves and blood vessels

How can I prepare for knee resurfacing surgery?

Prior to knee resurfacing surgery, your surgeon will discuss with you how best to prepare, as each patient is different with differing needs. It’s advisable to learn as much as you can about your procedure beforehand and discuss any concerns with your surgeon.

Common preparations for surgery include a general health assessment and routine blood tests, x rays or scans as requested by your surgeon.

A good level of general wellbeing will prepare you for a better outcome after surgery so it’s recommended that you eat healthily, exercise regularly if possible and cut back on smoking and drinking.

Prepare your home prior to surgery so that you’re comfortable whilst you’re recovering and plan to have someone take you home from hospital. Your specialist will discuss any specific preparations that you should make prior to surgery.

Are there alternatives for knee resurfacing surgery?

If your knee joint is partially affected by wear and tear, your surgeon may recommend a partial knee resurfacing procedure.

Your specialist will be able to discuss alternative procedures with you, depending on your circumstances.

Call 020 7467 4344 or fill in your details below to make an enquiry
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