Knee replacement surgery
Knee Replacement Surgery is a highly successful operation for relieving the pain of knee arthritis. Modern implants are lasting longer, and the lifespan of a knee replacement is 10-15 years for the vast majority. Sometimes longer.
There are numerous different types of knee replacement. The vast majority of which are highly successful. I use the Vanguard Total Knee replacement by Zimmer Biomet. This has an excellent long term track record in national and international registries. It entails replacement of the knee surfaces with metal components, and a polyethylene spacer between the 2, as well as a patellar button to replace the knee cap.
So what happens when you are listed for a knee replacement?
- You have a medical pre-assessment to ensure your optimum fitness for surgery.
- You come in on the day of surgery.
- The operation lasts approximately one hour.
- It can take place under general anaesthetic, or with a spinal injection, or the two combined.
- A specific pain relief pathway (the Enhanced Recovery Programme) is undertaken post operatively to ensure your maximum comfort.
- You can expect to start mobilising day one post surgery.
- You will be able to put your full weight through your operated side (initially with a frame, then crutches, and eventually progress to no mobility aids).
- An XRay and blood test are taken after surgery.
- You can reasonably expect to regain independent walking (with crutches) on the ward on day 2-4 post operatively such that you can safely go home to your own environment.
- Most people have rid themselves of their crutches before 6 weeks are up.
- You will be reviewed at 6 weeks post operative, and subsequent reviews if required, to ensure your recovery is proceeding as planned.