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You should aim to be in the best overall physical and mental condition possible to help achieve the best results from your surgery.
Preparing your body
Preparing your mind
Preparing your home
Preparing for your hospital stay
Recovery and rehabilitation during hospital stay
Checklist before your discharge from hospital
Returning to normal life
Please contact your local emergency department, surgeon or your GP if you experience any of the following symptoms -
As with all procedures, knee revision carries some risks and complications.
LESS COMMON: (1-2%)
Pain: the knee will be sore after the operation. If you are in pain, it’s important to tell staff so that medicines can be given. Pain will improve with time. Rarely, pain will be a chronic problem & may be due to any of the other complications listed below, or, for no obvious reason. Rarely, some replaced knees can remain painful.
Bleeding: A blood transfusion or iron tablets may occasionally be required. Rarely, the bleeding may form a blood clot or large bruise within the knee which may become painful and require an operation to remove it.
DVT:(deep vein thrombosis) is a blood clot in a vein. The risks of developing a DVT are greater after any surgery (and especially bone surgery). DVT can pass in the blood stream and be deposited in the lungs (a pulmonary embolism – PE). This is a very serious condition which affects your breathing. Your surgeon may give you medication to try and limit the risk of DVTs from forming. Some centres will also ask you to wear stockings on your legs, while others may use foot pumps to keep blood circulating around the leg. Starting to walk and moving early is one of the best ways to prevent blood clots from forming
Knee stiffness: may occur after the operation, especially if the knee is stiff before the surgery. Manipulation of the joint (under general anaesthetic) may be necessary
Prosthesis wear: With modern operating techniques and new implants, knee replacements last many years. In some cases, they fail earlier. The reason is often unknown. The plastic bearing is the most commonly worn away part
LESS COMMON: (1-2%)
Infection: You will be given antibiotics at the time of the operation and the procedure will also be performed in sterile conditions (theatre) with sterile equipment. Despite this, infections still occur (1 to 2%). The wound site may become red, hot and painful. There may also be a discharge of fluid or pus. This is usually treated with antibiotics and an operation to washout the joint may be necessary. In rare cases, the prostheses may be removed and replaced at a later date. The infection can sometimes lead to sepsis (blood infection) and strong antibiotics are required.
PE: a Pulmonary embolism is the spread of a blood clot to the lungs and can affect your breathing. This can be fatal.
Altered wound healing: the wound may become red, thickened and painful (keloid scar) especially in Afro-Caribbeans.
Nerve Damage: efforts are made to prevent this, however damage to the small nerves of the knee is a risk. This may cause temporary or permanent altered sensation around the knee. There may also be damage to the Peroneal Nerve, this may cause temporary or permanent weakness or altered sensation of the lower leg. Changed sensation to the outer half of the knee may be normal.
Bone Damage: bone may be broken when the prosthesis (false joint) is inserted. This may require fixation, either at time or at a later operation.
Blood vessel damage: the vessels at the back of the knee may rarely be damaged. may require further surgery
Death: This very rare complication may occur after any major surgery and from any of the above.