Knee replacement surgery is a procedure to replace a worn, damaged or diseased knee with an artificial knee joint and relieve pain and disability.
What is a Knee Replacement?
A knee replacement or knee arthroplasty is the surgical removal of cartilage and bone layers in your knee joint that have become worn, injured or diseased and the insertion of a new prosthetic joint.
You can have the whole of your knee joint replaced, called total knee replacement (TKR) surgery, or just one side of your knee joint replaced, known as a partial knee replacement (PKR), uni-compartmental or half-knee replacement. A PKR is a smaller operation with a shorter hospital stay and recovery period that may be recommended if the damage to your knee is only on one side.
Your knee surgeon will discuss the best type of knee replacement for your individual needs based on the extent of your knee condition.
Knee replacement surgery is usually performed under general anaesthetic and can take up to two hours.
Your knee surgeon will access your knee joint by making a cut down the front of your knee and moving your kneecap to one side. They will then carefully remove the worn, damaged or diseased cartilage and bone at the end of your thigh bone and top of your shin bone and resurface with an artificial knee joint that is sized to fit. Your artificial joint can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. Cement is often used to bond the new joint directly to your bones. Once your new joint is in place the incision will be closed.
What are the benefits of a knee replacement?
Knee injuries and damage to knee ligaments, arthritis especially osteoarthritis and, joint disease cause the articular surfaces in your knee to become worn, rough or distorted, and lead to knee pain, stiffness and mobility issues.
A knee replacement is a common operation that provides a new artificial knee joint and offers significant benefits.
The benefits of a knee replacement are:
• Reduced or no knee pain.
• Increased mobility so you can move your joint in the same way as a natural joint to resume activities and regain independence.
• Improved quality of life as everyday activities and participation in exercise and society are easier.
The majority of people are happy with their knee replacement and many say that it gives them a new lease of life.
How long does a knee replacement last?
While knee replacements are designed to last a long time, they can wear out over time and will not last forever.
The majority of knee replacements last at least 10 to 15 years. Many will last for 20 years or more. Total knee replacements often last a little longer than partial knee replacements.
Some factors influence the longevity of knee replacements. For example, if you’re overweight or you do heavy manual work, you’re more likely to need a repeat knee replacement in the future.
Although a knee replacement is strong enough to stand up to the requirements of young and active people, younger patients also require a knee replacement to last much longer. Patients aged in their 50s or younger who have a knee replacement can usually expect to require an operation to correct this, known as a revision knee replacement, during their lifetime.
Your knee surgeon will schedule X-rays on your knee at regular intervals to check how your knee replacement is faring.
How soon will I recover after a knee replacement?
You will typically stay in hospital for two days or less, depending upon your type of knee replacement. You will be allowed to go home once you are fully able to weight bear and you can carefully manage stairs. You may need help around the house immediately after coming home from hospital and the use of painkillers.
Your Physiotherapist will give you exercises that help you to strengthen your knee and, advice about what you should and shouldn’t do when you go home. You will gradually progress from using crutches or a frame to using walking sticks. Physiotherapy exercises are an important part of your recovery, so it is essential that you continue to do them for as long as your Physiotherapist advises.
You will be able to resume driving once you can bend your knee enough to get in and out of a car and control your car properly. This is usually around four to six weeks after your operation.
When you return to work will depend on your job and your individual recovery. You can expect to go back to work six to 12 weeks after your surgery.
Your knee surgeon will arrange a follow up appointment with you to check on your progress.
Knee replacement surgery is a major operation and recovery takes place over six to 12 weeks. This may vary from patient to patient, so you should follow your knee surgeon’s post-operative advice.
Your knee will continue to improve over time as scar tissue heals and your muscles get stronger through exercise.
Knee Replacement with Ramsay Health Care
You will receive the very best of care and support for your knee replacement at Tees Valley Hospital, Teesside’s newest private hospital with state of the art facilities.
Ramsay Health Care is proud to work in partnership with highly qualified and experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeons, pain management consultants, orthopaedic nursing staff, consultant radiologists and chartered physiotherapists.
At Ramsay, we provide easy access to convenient appointments and knee replacement surgery so that you can quickly regain a better quality of life.
Your treatment may be covered by medical insurance and we have self-pay packages. Our Premium Care Service offers you: a choice of consultant, appointments in as little as 72 hours, tailored individual physiotherapy sessions, ensuite rooms in a relaxing environment and superb food.