The 4 most common knee replacement questions answered


Total knee replacement surgery is a complex procedure that requires a knee specialist. An orthopedic surgeon removes the diseased portions of your bone. They shape the remaining bone to assist the knee implant. Finally, the surgeon builds the artificial knee inside of your leg. They will do this one component at a time, to create a practical artificial joint.

  1. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM A KNEE REPLACEMENT?

Your return to normal life depends on your level of health and fitness. Every client and their procedure are different which means that everyone’s recovery time differs.

You usually stay in hospital for 2 to 4 days, depending upon your type of knee replacement. For a partial knee construction, it can be less time. For 6 to 8 weeks after knee replacement surgery you should avoid:

  •       Twisting
  •       Kneeling
  •       Squatting

TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT RECOVERY

Total knee construction recovery requires careful attention and the best possible aftercare. General pain may occur for up to several weeks following a total knee replacement. Swelling lasts for 2 to 3 weeks after surgery but may continue for as long as 3 to 6 months. Bruising can also last for 1 to 2 weeks following surgery.

  1. IS A KNEE REPLACEMENT A MAJOR OPERATION?

A knee replacement is a major operation. Therefore, it is significantly important to seek a knee specialist who has a proven history of successful procedures. Before the operation, you need to discuss a range of details with your orthopedic surgeon. This includes:

  •       Comprehensive assessment of your knee joint. This may include x-rays and additional imaging techniques.
  •       Your medical history. The elderly need to have tests to make sure they are fit for the operation. This includes electrocardiogram and blood tests.
  •       Inform your doctor about any drugs you may be taking. Drugs that affect the blood’s ability to clot such as aspirin.
  •       Possible complications of surgery are also an important topic.

Would you like to know each step of the knee replacement procedure? Healthline provides an easy to understand step-by-step explanation of knee replacement surgery. 

knee replacement

  1. HOW PAINFUL IS A TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT?

POST SURGERY
Walking with a frame or crutches is the best way to get moving again. You may also want to arrange for someone to help you for a week or so at home. This will reduce pressure on you and your new knee, helping to recover and heal well.

MEDICATION
Most people will take oral pain medication for up to several weeks. This includes prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen. If severe pain persists, your doctor can prescribe Tramadol or Oxycodone. Over-the-counter medication helps to reduce temporary pain and inflammation at a later date. 

EXERCISES
You need to be gentle on yourself and ease back into exercise. From around day 5 to 1 month, you can increase your exercises as your knee gets stronger. During this time, you can follow these simple exercise tips:

  •       Take a longer walk. Do this with your walker or crutches.
  •       Use an exercise bike. Be mindful that you must first pedal backwards only. You can pedal forward when your knee becomes stronger. Do not put tension and pressure on the new knee by pedalling forwards

4. HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU NEED A KNEE REPLACEMENT?

If your knee suffers with pain, then this may hinder your aptitude to perform daily tasks. If this is the case, it may be time to seek help from a knee specialist. It is important to seek the best orthopedic surgeon for a consultation if you are experiencing any of the following:

PAIN POINTS

  •       Pain with activity / delayed pain
  •       Pain that disturbs your sleep

VISUAL CHANGES

  •       Signs of swelling / inflammation
  •       Changes in shape

 LIMITED MOVEMENT

  •       Difficulty sitting down
  •       Difficulty flexing the knee

KNEE REPLACEMENT WITH WESTERN ORTHOPAEDICS
Searching for an orthopedic surgeon? Western Orthopaedics is an ever-evolving team of dedicated specialists. Dr Sunner treats musculoskeletal injuries and provides surgical procedures for knee replacement.

Western Orthopedics offer orthopedic solutions in a range of locations in Sydney. You can book in for a consultation with their knee specialist by calling 02 4731 8466.

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