Total Knee Replacement
This surgery aims to relieve pain. Pain results when damaged surfaces of your knee joint grind against each other as you walk. The most common causes of damage to the knee joint surfaces are osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Total Knee Replacement surgery replaces your damaged surfaces with a new artificial joint.
Do you need surgery?
Total Knee Replacement is recommended for people with severe joint degenerative disease, who are experiencing disabling knee pain that has not improved with pain medication, physiotherapy or activity modification. Your surgeon can help you decide when and whether surgery is likely to provide pain relief and enable you to resume your regular activities.
What happens during surgery?
A surgical incision is made down the front of your knee. The knee muscles are split and pulled aside to allow your surgeon to reach the joint. The damaged bone surfaces of your thighbone and shinbone are removed, and then resurfaced with an artificial part made of metal. A plastic liner is placed between the new metal parts. If the kneecap is also damaged, the worn surface is removed and resurfaced with a plastic button. Your skin is usually closed with staples.
What could go wrong?
Only a few patients experience complications relating to knee replacement surgery – less than 1% of patients acquire a deep infection in the joint. Other potential but unlikely complications are blood clots, delayed wound healing, injury to nerves or blood vessels, persistent knee pain and stiffness, and risks of anaesthesia. Medications and exercises are prescribed to reduce these risks, however despite this, some patients may not be completely satisfied with their new knee. 96% of Total Knee Replacements last more than 10 years. It is important to discuss risks and voice any concerns you may have with your surgeon before having surgery.
Participating in your rehabilitation
Preparation for your recovery begins before your surgery. Being overweight increases stress on the knee and surgical risk. Aim to be a healthy body weight, keep active and strengthen your knee muscles in the lead up to surgery. Physiotherapy may begin the day of, or the day after surgery. Aims are to manage swelling, minimise pain, to assist you to regain the arc of knee movement, walk using crutches, and to climb stairs. Your stay in hospital may be 4-6 nights. Some knee pain and stiffness are expected in the initial weeks. Be involved and positive during therapy, and diligently perform your exercises at home.
Benefits you can expect
91% of patients who walked without an aid prior to surgery can do so again in less than 3 months. 91% of our patients receiving our current knee replacement are pain-free or have only mild pain (<3/10) a year after the operation and 86% report good knee function (OKS>34).
We welcome you to view our live feedback from patients who have received Total Knee Replacements at The Joint Studio.