Total Knee Replacement Operations

Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement Operations

For those who have knees damaged by arthritis, the most usual solution will be total knee replacement operations. This is a very common procedure and in the UK alone there are about 70,000 total knee replacement operations conducted each year. For most people this will be a smooth procedure that will only bring benefits to their life; although for 5% of people there can be complications following the operation. A few decades ago those who had a damaged knee would usually have to just suffer and cope as best they could; luckily this is no longer the case.

The Facts about Total Knee Replacement Operations

Here are just some of the total knee replacements FAQs that people will commonly ask –

Disease processes like arthritis can cause a lot of damage to the knee joint and things can get so bad that staying mobile becomes difficult. This means that people can suffer deterioration in their ability to enjoy life as they once did. If there is only a small amount of damage then it might only be necessary to have a partial knee replacement; a lot of people though, will need total knee replacement operations. Most people who have this type of surgery will be over sixty and going through with it can help restore their independence.

Total knee replacement operations involve cutting open the leg at the knee and cutting out the diseased tissue. The damaged tissue is then replaced with artificial components that will be able to function in a similar way; although you won’t be able to engage in extreme sports following this operation. This type of procedure is usually done under general anaesthetic which means that the patient is asleep through the whole thing. Once the operation is over the surgeon will stitch the wound back up again.

Like other types of surgery there are risks involved with total knee replacement operations. These risks are increased by the fact that those having the operation tend to be older. Here are just some of the things that could go wrong.

  • You could have a reaction to the general anaesthetic; if you have had surgery previously with a general anaesthetic then this is far less likely to happen.
  • You might have an allergic reaction to the components in the artificial knee replacement.
  • The scar following surgery could interfere with knee movement.
  • You could have a lot of pain.
  • The surgical site could become infected.
  • You could lose a lot of blood.
  • There might be nerve damage.
  • You could develop a blood clot following surgery.
  • While you are recovering from the operation you could have a chest infection.
  • There can be excess bone formation following surgery.

Despite the fact that these potential problems sound worrying it is important to remember that 95% of patients won’t have any problems. There is always going to be risk with any surgery but the benefits it can bring to people’s lives make it all worthwhile. It is good to be aware of things that can go wrong but we need to be realistic too.