Total Knee Replacement

F.A.Q.s | Frequently Asked Questions

What are the alternative treatments to having a knee replacement?

Walking aids such as a walking stick. An exercise program can strengthen the muscles around the knee joint and sometimes improve positioning of the knee and relieve pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. Some common NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen and cerebrex. Corticosteroids such as prednisone or cortisone reduce joint inflammation but can cause further weaken the bones in the joint. Side effects from corticosteroids are increased appetite, weight gain, and lower resistance to infections. Osteotomy. The surgeon cuts the bone away at a point from the damaged joint and restores the joint to its proper position, which helps to load weight evenly across the joint. For some people, an osteotomy relieves pain. Recovery from an osteotomy takes 6 to 12 months. The function of the knee joint may get worse and the patient may need more treatment.

Are there important things I need to tell my doctors?

  • Redness, swelling or warmth around the cut
  • Leakage from the cut
  • Fever and chills.
  • Severe knee pain that is not relieved by prescribed painkillers.
  • Sudden sharp pain and clicking or popping sound in the knee joint
  • Loss of control over leg movement
  • Loss of leg movement
  • Further surgery planned for the future i.e. dental work, bladder catheterisation, examinations of the bowel, bladder, rectum or stomach.

What are the bones of the knee?

The knee is a hinge joint, formed by the end of the thighbone (femur) and the end of the shin bone (tibia). The bones are coated in cartilage, which acts as a cushion between the two bones and allows the knee to move. In front of these bones is the kneecap (patella) which glides in a groove on the end of the thigh bone.

Diagram of the bones and ligaments of the knee
Diagram of the bones and ligaments of the knee

References

  • Singh. Smoking and Outcomes After Knee and Hip Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review, The Journal of Rheumatology 2011; 38:9
  • Liddle AD, et al. Knee replacement for osteoarthritis. Maturitas (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2013.03.005
  • J.C.C Mak et al, Evidence-based review for patients undergoing elective hip and knee replacement, ANZ journal of surgery (2013), 1-8
  • Yacub et al. Nerve Injury in Patients after Hip and Knee Arthroplasties and Knee Arthroscopy Am. J. Phys. Med. Rehabil. Vol. 88, No. 8, August 2009
  • N.D Clement et al, The outcome of primary total hip and knee arthroplasty in patients aged 80 years or more , 93-B, 9, September 2011
  • S Zanasi, Innovations in total knee replacement: new trends in operative treatment and changes in peri-operative management, Eur Orthop Traumatol. 2011 July; 2(1-2): 21–31
  • L. Vogel et al, Physical Activity After Total Joint Arthroplasty, Sports Health, 2011 September, 3(5), 441-450
  • McGraw P, Kumar A. Periprosthetic fractures of the femur after total knee arthroplasty. J Orthop Traumatol. 2010;11(3):135–41
  • Fann JC et al, Infection in primary total knee replacement, Hong Kong Med J Vol 14 No 1,  February 2008
  • Kevin B et al, A Meta-Analysis of Thromboembolic Prophylaxis Following Elective Total Hip Arthroplasty, J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2000 Jul 01;82(7):929-929
  • Villanueva M, Ríos-Luna A, Pereiro J, Fahandez-Saddi H, Pérez-Caballer A. Dislocation following total knee arthroplasty: A report of six cases. Indian J Orthop 2010;44:438-43
  • Hopley CD et al,Long-term clinical outcomes and survivorship after total knee arthroplasty using a rotating platform knee prosthesis: a meta-analysis, J Arthroplasty 2013 Jan;28(1):68-77.e1-3

12 August, 2013