Total Knee Replacement

Complications

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

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