Knee replacement surgery is recommended to patients who have a degenerate, worn knee joint causing significant pain and disability. Often the pain is associated with joint stiffness and deformity. Most common cause for degeneration of a knee joint is osteoarthritis. Other causes include fractures, inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout and pseudogout.
The most common types of knee replacement are total knee replacement, and the less common Uni-compartmental (partial) knee replacement.
A total knee replacement involves removal of the worn cartilage from the femur and the tibia and replacing it with artificial implants to recreate knee joint anatomy. The patella (knee cap) will also usually be resurfaced. The implants are fixed into bone using either bone cement or cementless fixation.
Total knee replacement surgery can be quite uncomfortable especially in the first two weeks. A multimodal pain management plan is used including spinal anaesthesia, local anaesthetic injected during surgery, ice and pain killers to minimize the discomfort and to allow early rehabilitation and recovery. Physiotherapy is very important after a total knee replacement and is aimed at restoration of the range of motion, muscle strengthening, and gait retraining. It is necessary for physiotherapy to start soon after surgery to minimize stiffness and maximize range of motion and hence optimal outcome. Most knee replacements continue to improve over the first 6 months pot operatively.
As this is general information, if you want to discuss with our experienced knee orthopaedic surgeon from Sydney Dr Hamish Rae, you can make an appointment by calling 80055111, where you will discuss about your pain and treatment options.