Total Knee Replacement


Side effects:

Side effects are symptoms that occur after every operation and are a normal part of the recovery from the operation. The main side effects of knee replacement surgery are:

  • Knee pain
  • Swelling of the knee and bruising around the knee
  • Stiffness of the knee
Xray of a knee with a total knee replacement
Xray of a knee with a total knee replacement (cemented variety)


Complications are uncommon problems that occur during or after the operation. Most people having hip surgery aren't affected.

The general complications for all operations are:

  • A reaction to the anaesthetic
  • Infection of the wound or joint
  • Excessive blood loss
  • A blood clot, usually in a vein of the leg (known as a deep vein thrombosis or DVT)

Complications that are specific for total knee replacement surgery include:

  • Ongoing knee pain: The main reason for having a knee replacement is persistent knee pain. A knee replacement is usually a very effective method of relieving knee pain. It is important to know however that a small number of patients have ongoing knee pain after their operation. Between 6- 17% of patients having a knee replacement will have ongoing pain after their operation.
  • Stiffness. Stiffness of the knee after surgery can occur and it is important to work hard on your rehab exercises to minimise this problem.
  • Wearing out of the replaced knee: Although you have a new knee after your procedure it still undergoes wear and tear due to your everyday activities. 94% - 97% of knee replacements will last at least 12 years
  • Nerve damage: Nerves can be injured during the operation. The chance of getting nerve injury is very low.
  • Dislocation: Very rarely after your operation your knee can become unstable and actually dislocate or pop out of place.
  • Fracture: After your knee replacement there is a small chance that the bones around the metal can break.


18 April, 2014