Knee replacement surgery, also known as knee arthroplasty, is a procedure where damaged parts of the knee joint are replaced with artificial components. Serving as a solution for individuals with severe knee pain and mobility issues, resulting in significantly improved quality of life.
What is Knee Replacement Surgery?
In a knee replacement surgery, damaged or deteriorated portions of the knee joint are surgically removed and replaced with artificial components, fabricated from high-grade metals and medical-grade polymers. These components are designed to replicate the knee's natural movements, alleviating pain, and restoring mobility.
Normal knee joint vs. Knee joint with osteoarthritis
Who is a Candidate for Knee Replacement?
This surgery may be a suitable option for individuals experiencing:
- Chronic knee pain that impacts daily activities
- Persistent pain even during rest or sleep
- Chronic knee inflammatory conditions
- Limited knee mobility or stiffness
- Inadequate relief from non-surgical treatments
Different Types of Knee Replacement Surgeries
There are several types of knee replacement surgeries available:
- Total Knee Replacement (TKR): Involves replacing all compartments of the knee joint.
- Partial Knee Replacement (PKR): Only the most damaged portion of the knee is replaced.
- Revision Knee Replacement: Addresses issues with a previous knee replacement implant/component.
Risks and Possible Complications
While generally safe, knee replacement surgeries do have some risks, including but not limited to surgical site complications, anaesthetic complications, or possibly issues related to the artificial components, although very rare. It's essential to consult your Healthcare Provider or Orthopaedic Surgeon to better understand your individual risks.
Before the surgery, patients undergo:
- Medical history review and physical examination
- Blood tests and diagnostic imaging like X-rays or MRIs
- Surgical planning and approach review
- Preoperative fitness evaluations
- Discussions about anaesthesia options
X-ray of a normal knee (top) vs. osteoarthritic knee (below)
What Happens During Surgery?
The surgery typically lasts between 1 to 3 hours, encompassing:
- Anaesthesia administration
- Removal of damaged knee joint areas, utilising cutting-edge technologies such as robotic guidance
- Implantation of artificial components – again with robotic guidance to ensure precision.
- Assessment of the joint's stability and function
- Surgical site closure and bandaging.
X-ray post knee replacement surgery
Recovery and Rehabilitation: What to Expect
After surgery, a short hospital stay is necessary for monitoring and initiating physiotherapy. Pain management is facilitated through medications. Upon discharge, a customised outpatient rehabilitation plan aids your recovery through physiotherapy sessions and scheduled follow-up visits with your surgeon. Generally, patients can return to normal activities within 12 weeks.
Choosing the Right Surgeon: Your Next Steps
Finding an expert surgeon is pivotal in ensuring a successful outcome. If this summary has been helpful and you are contemplating the next steps, please contact us and book a consultation with Dr Morris to discuss your options in more detail.