Risks of Knee Replacement Surgery

Like every other surgery, replacement surgery for knees carries an element of risk. Some of the risks include infection, nerve damage, blood clots, a stroke or even a heart attack. Doctors try to minimize the risks, but it is vital that you notify your doctor as soon as you start noticing signs of infection. They include shaking chills, a fever, and fluid coming off your knee. You also need to minor your knee post-surgery. If you notice increased tenderness, redness, swelling or pain, you should see your doctor.

In the following article, the writer analyzes the benefits of knee replacement surgery and how to prepare for it. 

Preparing for Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery — also known as knee arthroplasty (ARTH-row-plas-tee) — can help relieve pain and restore function in severely diseased knee joints. The procedure involves cutting away damaged bone and cartilage from your thighbone, shinbone and kneecap and replacing it with an artificial joint (prosthesis) made of metal alloys, high-grade plastics and polymers.

In determining whether a knee replacement is right for you, an orthopedic surgeon assesses your knee’s range of motion, stability and strength. X-rays help determine the extent of damage. Your doctor can choose from a variety of knee replacement prostheses and surgical techniques, considering your age, weight, activity level, knee size and shape, and overall health. Read more here

Before scheduling the surgery, your surgeon or anesthesiologist might give you a list of dos and don’ts before the surgery. The list may include what to eat, when you should have your last meal, the medication you should take, and habits you should avoid before the surgery. You may also need to prepare for your recovery before the surgery. For example, you may need to arrange for crutches or a walker before the surgery. If you live alone, you may need to arrange for a temporary caregiver to help you with the house chores and your care.

In the following article, William C. Shiel Jr., MD, discusses patients who need total knee replacement surgeries and the tests conducted to confirm a patient’s eligibility.

Evaluation Tests Before Total Knee Replacement Surgery

Patients with severe destruction of the knee joint associated with progressive pain and impaired function maybe candidates for total knee replacement. Osteoarthritis is the most common reason for knee replacement operation in the U.S.

Risks of total knee replacement surgery have been identified. Physical therapy is an essential part of rehabilitation after total knee replacement. Patients with artificial joints are recommended to take antibiotics before, during, and after any elective invasive procedures (including dental work). Read more here

The hip and ankle joints usually need to be evaluated before a total knee replacement surgery is carried out. A total knee replacement surgery will not yield much if the adjacent bones are damaged. If you are taking any blood-thinning medication, the dosage may need to be adjusted or even stopped days before the surgery. Blood and urine tests will tell the state of your lungs and kidneys. Your doctor will also need to confirm you have no infections or anemia. If you are overweight, the doctor may recommend weeks of monitored diet and exercise before the surgery.

In the following article, the writer discusses factors that influence the decision to have knee replacement surgery and preparation for the operation.

What Should You Expect During a Knee Replacement Surgery?

Knee replacement surgery is one of the most common bone surgeries in the country. Whether you need the surgery is a decision that you and your doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, carefully make together. More than 90% of people who have had their knees replaced see a huge improvement in pain and their ability to get around.

Known as arthroplasty, knee replacement surgery replaces the damaged parts of your knee with artificial parts. Several million Americans live with such implants. Read more here

Thanks to technological advancement, you don’t need to stay in hospital before and after the surgery. However, your health influences the decision on whether you should stay in the hospital or be treated as an outpatient. The average hospital stay is between 1-4 days. You might get partial or general anesthesia. If there are no complications, this surgery usually takes less than two hours. The incision depends on the type of replacement, but it is generally between 10-12 inches for total knee replacement.